The next breakthrough for organic photovoltaics?

Nicholas E. Jackson*, Brett M. Savoie, Tobin J. Marks, Lin X. Chen, Mark A. Ratner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


While the intense focus on energy level tuning in organic photovoltaic materials has afforded large gains in device performance, we argue here that strategies based on microstructural/morphological control are at least as promising in any rational design strategy. In this work, a meta-analysis of ∼150 bulk heterojunction devices fabricated with different materials combinations is performed and reveals strong correlations between power conversion efficiency and morphology-dominated properties (short-circuit current, fill factor) and surprisingly weak correlations between efficiency and energy level positioning (open-circuit voltage, enthalpic offset at the interface, optical gap). While energy level positioning should in principle provide the theoretical maximum efficiency, the optimization landscape that must be navigated to reach this maximum is unforgiving. Thus, research aimed at developing understanding-based strategies for more efficient optimization of an active layer microstructure and morphology are likely to be at least as fruitful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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