skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: 25th Anniversary Article: Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells: Understanding the Mechanism of Operation

  1. Center for Polymers and Organic Solids, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara CA 93106 USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) (United States). Center for Energy Efficient Materials (CEEM)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:  
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Advanced Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 26; Journal Issue: 1; Related Information: CEEM partners with the University of California, Santa Barbara (lead); Purdue University; Los Alamos National Laboratory; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Journal ID: ISSN 0935-9648
Country of Publication:
United States
solar (photovoltaic), solid state lighting, phonons, thermoelectric, bio-inspired, energy storage (including batteries and capacitors), electrodes - solar, defects, charge transport, materials and chemistry by design, optics, synthesis (novel materials), synthesis (self-assembly), synthesis (scalable processing)

Citation Formats

Heeger, Alan J. 25th Anniversary Article: Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells: Understanding the Mechanism of Operation. United States: N. p., 2013. Web. doi:10.1002/adma.201304373.
Heeger, Alan J. 25th Anniversary Article: Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells: Understanding the Mechanism of Operation. United States. doi:10.1002/adma.201304373.
Heeger, Alan J. Fri . "25th Anniversary Article: Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells: Understanding the Mechanism of Operation". United States. doi:10.1002/adma.201304373.
title = {25th Anniversary Article: Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells: Understanding the Mechanism of Operation},
author = {Heeger, Alan J.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1002/adma.201304373},
journal = {Advanced Materials},
issn = {0935-9648},
number = 1,
volume = 26,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {12}

Works referenced in this record:

Coherence and Uncertainty in Nanostructured Organic Photovoltaics
journal, June 2013

  • Kaake, Loren G.; Moses, Daniel; Heeger, Alan J.
  • The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Vol. 4, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1021/jz4010569

Enhanced Efficiency Parameters of Solution-Processable Small-Molecule Solar Cells Depending on ITO Sheet Resistance
journal, May 2013

  • Wang, Dong Hwan; Kyaw, Aung Ko Ko; Gupta, Vinay
  • Advanced Energy Materials, Vol. 3, Issue 9
  • DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201300277

Solution-Processed Organic Tandem Solar Cells
journal, September 2006

  • Hadipour, A.; de Boer, B.; Wildeman, J.
  • Advanced Functional Materials, Vol. 16, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1002/adfm.200600138

Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells with Large Open-Circuit Voltage: Electron Transfer with Small Donor-Acceptor Energy Offset
journal, March 2011

  • Gong, Xiong; Tong, Minghong; Brunetti, Fulvio G.
  • Advanced Materials, Vol. 23, Issue 20
  • DOI: 10.1002/adma.201003768

Outlook Brightens for Plastic Solar Cells
journal, April 2011

Experimental test for geminate recombination applied to organic solar cells
journal, September 2010

Tracing photoinduced electron transfer process in conjugated polymer/fullerene bulk heterojunctions in real time
journal, June 2001

A modular molecular framework for utility in small-molecule solution-processed organic photovoltaic devices
journal, January 2011

  • Welch, Gregory C.; Perez, Louis A.; Hoven, Corey V.
  • Journal of Materials Chemistry, Vol. 21, Issue 34
  • DOI: 10.1039/c1jm11963j

Polymer-Fullerene Bulk-Heterojunction Solar Cells
journal, April 2009

  • Dennler, Gilles; Scharber, Markus C.; Brabec, Christoph J.
  • Advanced Materials, Vol. 21, Issue 13, p. 1323-1338
  • DOI: 10.1002/adma.200801283

Charge separation and photovoltaic conversion in polymer composites with internal donor/acceptor heterojunctions
journal, October 1995

  • Yu, G.; Heeger, A. J.
  • Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 78, Issue 7, p. 4510-4515
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.359792

Thermally Stable, Efficient Polymer Solar Cells with Nanoscale Control of the Interpenetrating Network Morphology
journal, October 2005

  • Ma, W.; Yang, C.; Gong, X.
  • Advanced Functional Materials, Vol. 15, Issue 10, p. 1617-1622
  • DOI: 10.1002/adfm.200500211

Statistics of the Recombinations of Holes and Electrons
journal, September 1952

Efficient photodiodes from interpenetrating polymer networks
journal, August 1995

  • Halls, J. J. M.; Walsh, C. A.; Greenham, N. C.
  • Nature, Vol. 376, Issue 6540, p. 498-500
  • DOI: 10.1038/376498a0

Improved Light Harvesting and Improved Efficiency by Insertion of an Optical Spacer (ZnO) in Solution-Processed Small-Molecule Solar Cells
journal, July 2013

  • Kyaw, Aung Ko Ko; Wang, Dong Hwan; Wynands, David
  • Nano Letters, Vol. 13, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1021/nl401758g

Photoinduced Charge Generation in a Molecular Bulk Heterojunction Material
journal, November 2012

  • Kaake, Loren G.; Jasieniak, Jacek J.; Bakus, Ronald C.
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 134, Issue 48
  • DOI: 10.1021/ja308949m

Solution-processed small-molecule solar cells with 6.7% efficiency
journal, November 2011

  • Sun, Yanming; Welch, Gregory C.; Leong, Wei Lin
  • Nature Materials, Vol. 11, Issue 1, p. 44-48
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmat3160

Molecular Miscibility of Polymer−Fullerene Blends
journal, October 2010

  • Collins, Brian A.; Gann, Eliot; Guignard, Lewis
  • The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Vol. 1, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1021/jz101276h

Bulk heterojunction solar cells with internal quantum efficiency approaching 100%
journal, April 2009

  • Park, Sung Heum; Roy, Anshuman; Beaupré, Serge
  • Nature Photonics, Vol. 3, Issue 5, p. 297-302
  • DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2009.69

Polymer Photovoltaic Cells: Enhanced Efficiencies via a Network of Internal Donor-Acceptor Heterojunctions
journal, December 1995

Design Rules for Donors in Bulk-Heterojunction Solar Cells—Towards 10 % Energy-Conversion Efficiency
journal, March 2006

  • Scharber, M. C.; Mühlbacher, D.; Koppe, M.
  • Advanced Materials, Vol. 18, Issue 6, p. 789-794
  • DOI: 10.1002/adma.200501717

Spontaneous Formation of Bulk Heterojunction Nanostructures: Multiple Routes to Equivalent Morphologies
journal, March 2011

  • Moon, Ji Sun; Takacs, Christopher J.; Sun, Yanming
  • Nano Letters, Vol. 11, Issue 3
  • DOI: 10.1021/nl200056p

Interdiffusion of PCBM and P3HT Reveals Miscibility in a Photovoltaically Active Blend
journal, November 2010

  • Treat, Neil D.; Brady, Michael A.; Smith, Gordon
  • Advanced Energy Materials, Vol. 1, Issue 1, p. 82-89
  • DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201000023

Role of trace impurities in the photovoltaic performance of solution processed small-molecule bulk heterojunction solar cells
journal, January 2012

  • Leong, Wei Lin; Welch, Gregory C.; Kaake, Loren G.
  • Chemical Science, Vol. 3, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1039/c2sc20157g

Efficiency enhancement in low-bandgap polymer solar cells by processing with alkane dithiols
journal, May 2007

  • Peet, J.; Kim, J. Y.; Coates, N. E.
  • Nature Materials, Vol. 6, Issue 7, p. 497-500
  • DOI: 10.1038/nmat1928

Processing Additives for Improved Efficiency from Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells
journal, March 2008

  • Lee, Jae Kwan; Ma, Wan Li; Brabec, Christoph J.
  • Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol. 130, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1021/ja710079w

Efficient Tandem Polymer Solar Cells Fabricated by All-Solution Processing
journal, July 2007

  • Kim, Jin Young; Lee, Kwanghee; Coates, Nelson E.
  • Science, Vol. 317, Issue 5835, p. 222-225
  • DOI: 10.1126/science.1141711

P3HT/PCBM Bulk Heterojunction Organic Photovoltaics: Correlating Efficiency and Morphology
journal, February 2011

  • Chen, Dian; Nakahara, Atsuhiro; Wei, Dongguang
  • Nano Letters, Vol. 11, Issue 2, p. 561-567
  • DOI: 10.1021/nl103482n

Polymer donor–polymer acceptor (all-polymer) solar cells
journal, April 2013

Correlated Exciton Relaxation in Poly(3-hexylthiophene)
journal, February 2008

Effect of Processing Additive on the Nanomorphology of a Bulk Heterojunction Material
journal, October 2010

  • Moon, Ji Sun; Takacs, Christopher J.; Cho, Shinuk
  • Nano Letters, Vol. 10, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1021/nl101923m

Polymer solar cells with enhanced fill factors
journal, August 2013

Transient photoconductivity in polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells: Competition between sweep-out and recombination
journal, January 2011

A polymer tandem solar cell with 10.6% power conversion efficiency
journal, February 2013

  • You, Jingbi; Dou, Letian; Yoshimura, Ken
  • Nature Communications, Vol. 4, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2411

Ultrafast photoinduced electron transfer in conducting polymer—buckminsterfullerene composites
journal, October 1993

“Columnlike” Structure of the Cross-Sectional Morphology of Bulk Heterojunction Materials
journal, January 2009

  • Moon, Ji Sun; Lee, Jae Kwan; Cho, Shinuk
  • Nano Letters, Vol. 9, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.1021/nl802821h

Photoinduced Electron Transfer from a Conducting Polymer to Buckminsterfullerene
journal, November 1992

Recombination in polymer-fullerene bulk heterojunction solar cells
journal, December 2010