Molecular understanding of organic solar cells: The challenges

Jean Luc Bredas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A key feature of π-conjugated organic semiconductors that has impacted the design and geometry of organic photovoltaic devices for the past decades is the excitonic character of their optical properties. While optical absorption in a conventional inorganic semiconductor results in the immediate creation of free charge carriers, it leads in an organic semiconductor to the formation of a spatially localized electron-hole pair, i.e., an exciton, which is electrically neutral. In order to generate an electrical current, the exciton must first dissociate; this is the reason why a critical component in the architecture of organic solar cells is the design of the heterojunction between an electron-donor (D) material and an electron-acceptor (A) material. In this presentation, we describe some of the electronic and optical processes that take place during the operation of a bulk-heterojunction organic solar cell with a focus on the D/A interface, discuss recent theoretical advances, and highlight a number of theoretical challenges that still need to be met in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of organic solar cells at the molecular level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNobel Symposium 153
Subtitle of host publicationNanoscale Energy Converters
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event153rd Nobel Symposium on Nanoscale Energy Converters - Orenas Castle, Sweden
Duration: Aug 12 2012Aug 16 2012

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Other153rd Nobel Symposium on Nanoscale Energy Converters
CityOrenas Castle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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