Organic photovoltaics (OPVs): Device physics

Michael A. Fusella, Yun Hui L. Lin, Barry P. Rand

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Solar energy is a vast energy resource that is largely underutilized today. While solar photovoltaics (PVs) have existed for many decades, organic photovoltaics (OPVs) are a relatively new solar cell technology. They possess a number of unique traits that may offer advantages over traditional PV designs in niche applications requiring low fabrication costs, mechanical flexibility, and transparency, among other characteristics. In this chapter, we present the basic working principles and characterization techniques of OPVs, including current voltage and quantum efficiency measurements, and discuss the mechanism of charge photogeneration. The excitonic nature of OPVs makes their operation fundamentally different from conventional inorganic PVs, and so we include a discussion of energy losses, including voltage losses, recombination, and resistance losses, specifically as they pertain to OPVs. Finally, we summarize promising directions for future research and discuss strategies that are utilized in current record-setting OPVs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Organic Materials for Electronic and Photonic Devices, Second Edition
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9780081022849
ISBN (Print)9780081022856
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science


  • Organic electronics
  • Organic photovoltaic (OPV)
  • Organic solar cell (OSC)
  • Polymer solar cells
  • Renewable energy


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