Polymer Photovoltaic Cells: Enhanced Efficiencies via a Network of Internal Donor-Acceptor Heterojunctions

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Science  15 Dec 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5243, pp. 1789-1791
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5243.1789


The carrier collection efficiency (ηc) and energy conversion efficiency (ηe) of polymer photovoltaic cells were improved by blending of the semiconducting polymer with C60 or its functionalized derivatives. Composite films of poly(2-methoxy-5-(2′-ethyl-hexyloxy)-1,4-phenylene vinylene) (MEH-PPV) and fullerenes exhibit ηc of about 29 percent of electrons per photon and ηe of about 2.9 percent, efficiencies that are better by more than two orders of magnitude than those that have been achieved with devices made with pure MEH-PPV. The efficient charge separation results from photoinduced electron transfer from the MEH-PPV (as donor) to C60 (as acceptor); the high collection efficiency results from a bicontinuous network of internal donor-acceptor heterojunctions.