Authors: Omar A. Abdulrazzaq, Viney Saini, Shawn Bourdo, Enkeleda Dervishi, and Alexandru S. Biris
Publication: Particulate Science and Technology, Volume 31, Issue 5
Significant attention has been given during the last few years to overcome technological and material barriers in order to develop organic photovoltaic devices (OPVs) with comparable cost efficiency similar to the inorganic photovoltaics (PVs) and to make them commercially viable. To take advantage of the low cost for such devices, major improvements are necessary which include: an efficiency of around 10%, high stability from degradation under real-world conditions, novel optically active materials, and development of novel fabrication approaches. In order to meet such stringent requirements, the research and development in OPVs need to improve upon the short diffusion length of excitons, which is one of the factors that are responsible for their low power conversion efficiency. This review discusses some of the most significant technological developments that were presented in the literature and helped improve photovoltaic performance, such as tandem architectures, plasmonics, and use of graphitic nanostructural materials, among others.
Tandem organic solar cells with embedded plasmonics are a promising approach to further increase the power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells, by harvesting complementary spectral regions with high quantum efficiencies. Polymeric nanocomposites incorporating graphitic nanostructures were extensively investigated for the next generation of efficient and low-cost solar cells, since such nanomaterials show excellent electrical and mechanical properties, excellent carrier transport capabilities, and provide an efficient pathway to the dissociated charge carriers.