Two-Dimensional Model for Polymer-Based Photovoltaic Cells: Numerical Simulations of Morphology Effects

Kristian O. Sylvester-Hvid*, Sten Rettrup, Mark A. Ratner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


In this contribution, we develop and investigate a general 2D hopping model for the photovoltaic action in polymer-based thin films. The model takes a microscopic origin and accounts for the molecular photonic and electronic processes by a simple kinetic scheme that eventually leads a linearized master equation for the time evolution of the photovoltaic system. With an emphasis on the topology of blends of donor/acceptor functionalized polymers, we attempt to characterize the dependence of the short-circuit current, internal quantum efficiency, IV characteristics, and fill factors on the morphology of the blend. Several different morphologies for the polymer film are considered, and they show quite different transport and efficiency behavior (e.g., for so-called double cable structures, nearly quantitative conversion efficiencies are computed, and for other structures similar efficiencies may be found, but with short-circuit currents orders of magnitude lower). The model neglects effects such as exciton migration, the built-in potential, and interaction in the third dimension. Nontheless, significant conclusions can be drawn: in particular, we demonstrate that a viable photovoltaic system driven only by concentration gradients of charge carriers (no built-in field) is possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4296-4307
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 8 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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