Solar cells utilizing small molecular weight organic semiconductors

Barry P. Rand, Jan Genoe, Paul Heremans, Jef Poortmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

461 Scopus citations


In this review, we focus on the field of organic photovoltaic cells based on small molecular weight materials. In particular, we discuss the physical processes that lead to photocurrent generation in organic solar cells, as well as the various architectures employed to optimize device performance. These include the donor-acceptor heterojunction for efficient exciton dissociation, the exciton blocking layer, the mixed or bulk heterojunction, and the stacked or tandem cell. We show how the choice of materials with known energy levels and absorption spectra affect device performance, particularly the open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current density. We also discuss the typical materials and growth techniques used to fabricate devices, as well as the issue of device stability, all of which are critical for the commercialization of low-cost and high-performance organic solar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-676
Number of pages18
JournalProgress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Bulk heterojunction
  • Donor acceptor interface
  • Exciton blocking layer
  • Exciton dissociation
  • Organic solar cells
  • Stacked cell


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