Polymer design under the spotlight

UK scientists have come up with a new design rule for organic photovoltaics (OPVs), which could lead to improved solar cells.

Until recently, many of the polymers studied for OPVs had originally been developed for the more mature organic light emitting diode (OLED) and organic field effect transistor fields. For OLEDs, a high photoluminescence (PL) emission yield is a prerequisite, and this was also thought to be a positive indicator of a polymer’s OPV suitability.

But, by comparing the photophysics and photovoltaic performance of two different polymer–fullerene blends, James Durrant and colleagues have demonstrated that a high PL yield is not necessarily a positive attribute for polymers for OPV. OPV polymers should not, in general, exhibit strong photoluminescence which spectrally overlaps with fullerene absorption.

Read Energy versus electron transfer in organic solar cells: a comparison of the photophysics of two indenofluorene: fullerene blend films for free today to find out more.

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