Journal of Energy and Natural Resources

Submit a Manuscript

Publishing with us to make your research visible to the widest possible audience.

Propose a Special Issue

Building a community of authors and readers to discuss the latest research and develop new ideas.

Research Article |

A Review of the Development of Organic Solar Cells Efficiency

In recent years organic solar cells have been recognized to have tremendous potential as alternatives to their inorganic counterparts, because they have many distinctive features such as they are flexible, colorful, have a lightweight and they are environmentally friendly. They have the ability to produce the cheapest electricity due to their low costs and be competitive with the silicon solar cells. Furthermore, the number of benefits of organic solar cells is expected to increase greatly as the technology is further developed. However, they have some obstacles and challenges to be utilized commercially on a large scale have been highlighted by their relatively low power conversion efficiencies and the relatively short device lifetime. Despite these challenges, the tunability and versatility of organic materials offer promise for future success. The evolution of the organic solar cells׳ performance over time has been addressed in this work, the present study provide the differences between organic and silicon solar cells which reveal the challenges that affect the development of organic solar cells efficiencies. In addition, it shows the historical development of efficiency of the organic solar cells in each generation: (i) single layer organic solar cells, (ii) donor-acceptor bilayer heterojunction organic solar cells and (iii) bulk heterojunction organic solar cells. Finally, the paper concludes by suggesting that future research should focus on addressing the identified challenges and developing new materials and technologies that can further improve the performance and efficiency of organic solar cells.

Organic Solar Cells, Donor, Fullerene, Acceptor, Bulk Heterojunction

APA Style

Shoqeir, J., Al-Sourkhi, S., Alsamamra, H. (2023). A Review of the Development of Organic Solar Cells Efficiency. Journal of Energy and Natural Resources, 12(3), 30-37. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.jenr.20231203.12

ACS Style

Shoqeir, J.; Al-Sourkhi, S.; Alsamamra, H. A Review of the Development of Organic Solar Cells Efficiency. J. Energy Nat. Resour. 2023, 12(3), 30-37. doi: 10.11648/j.jenr.20231203.12

AMA Style

Shoqeir J, Al-Sourkhi S, Alsamamra H. A Review of the Development of Organic Solar Cells Efficiency. J Energy Nat Resour. 2023;12(3):30-37. doi: 10.11648/j.jenr.20231203.12

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. P. Würfel, Physics of Solar Cells: From Principles to New Concepts, WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 2005.
2. S. G. Kumar and K. S. R. K. Rao, "Physics and chemistry of CdTe/CdS thin film heterojunction photovoltaic devices: fundamental and critical aspects," Energy & Environmental Science, vol. 7, pp. 45-102, 2014.
3. I. E. Agency, "World Energy Balance: Overview," IEA, 2021.
4. O. A. Al-Shahri, F. B. Ismail, M. A. Hannan, M. S. H. Lipu, A. Q. Al-Shetwi, R. A. Begum, N. F. O. Al-Muhsen and E. Soujeri, "Solar photovoltaic energy optimization methods, challenges and issues: A comprehensive review," Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 284, pp. 1-18, 2021.
5. I. E. Agency, "Key World Energy Statistics 2021," IEA, 2021.
6. M. Riede, D. Spoltre and K. Leo, "Organic Solar Cells-The Path to Commercial Success," Advanced Energy Materials, p. 2002653, 2021.
7. A. Polman, M. Knight, E. C. Garnett, B. Ehrler and W. C. Sinke, "Photovoltaic materials: present efficiencies and future challenges," Science, vol. 352, pp. 1-10, 2016.
8. Z. Hu, J. Wang, X. Ma, J. Gao, C. Xu, K. Yang, Z. Wang, J. Zhang and F. Zhang, "A critical review on semitransparent organic solar cells," Nano Energy, vol. 78, pp. 1-20, 2020.
9. C. Brabec, U. Scherf and V. Dyakonov, Organic photovoltaics: materials, device physics, and manufacturing technologies, John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
10. I. E. Agency, "Electricity Information: Overview," IEA, 2021.
11. A. M. Bagher, M. M. A. Vahid and M. Mohsen, "Types of Solar Cells and Application," American Journal of Optics and Photonics, vol. 3, pp. 94-113, 2015.
12. E. Kabir, P. Kumar, S. Kumar, A. A. Adelodun and K.-H. Kime, "Solar energy: Potential and future prospects," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 82, pp. 894-900, 2018.
13. Y. Usama, K. Jahangir, A. U. Shah, M. N. Yousaf, A. Samad, A. U. Din and G. A. Nowsherwan, "Comperative Simulation-Based Study on Different Active Layers of Organic Solar Cell via GPVDM," School Journal of Engineering and Technology, vol. 9, pp. 113-119, 2021.
14. J. C. Bernede, "Organic photovoltaic cells: history, principle and techniques," Journal of the Chilean Chemical Society, vol. 53, pp. 1549-1564, 2008.
15. B. C. Thompson and J. M. Fréchet, "Polymer-fullerene composite solar cells," Angewandte Chemie International Edition, vol. 47, pp. 58-77, 2008.
16. "Electrochemical Characteristics of Phthaloyl Chitosan Based Gel Polymer Electrolyte for Dye Sensitized Solar Cell Application," International Journal of electrochemical science, vol. 15, p. 7434 – 7447, 2020.
17. J. D. Servaites, M. A. Ratner and T. J. Marks, "Organic solar cells: A new look at traditional models," Energy & Environmental Science, vol. 4, pp. 4410-4422, 2011.
18. F. C. Krebs, "Fabrication and processing of polymer solar cells: A review of printing and coating techniques," Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, vol. 93, pp. 394-412, 2009.
19. B. Jia, J. Wang, Y. Wu, M. Zhang, Y. Jiang, Z. Tang, T. P. Russell and X. Zhan, "Enhancing the Performance of Fused-Ring Electron Acceptor by Unidirectional Extension," Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 141, p. 19023–19031, 2019.
20. C. Li, M. Liu, N. G. Pschirer, M. Baumgarten and K. Mü, "Polyphenylene-based materials for organic photovoltaics," Chemical Reviews, vol. 110, pp. 6817-6855, 2010.
21. F. Gao, "A New Acceptor for Highly Efficient Organic Solar Cells," Joule, vol. 3, pp. 908-909, 2019.
22. A. A. D. T. Adikaari, D. M. N. M. Dissanayake and S. R. P. Silva, "Organic–Inorganic Solar Cells: Recent Developments and Outlook," EEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, vol. 16, pp. 1595 - 1606, 2011.
23. N. Yeh and P. Yeh, "Organic solar cells: Their developments and potentials," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 21, pp. 421-431, 2013.
24. L. Meng, Y. Zhang, X. Wan, C. Li, X. Zhang, Y. Wang, X. Ke, Z. Xiao, L. Ding, R. Xia, H.-L. Yip, Y. Cao and Y. Chen, "Organic and solution-processed tandem solar cells with 17.3% efficiency," Science, vol. 361, pp. 1094-1098, 2018.
25. W. Marx, L. Bornmann, A. Barth and L. Leyde, "Detecting the historical roots of research fields by reference publication year spectroscopy (RPYS)," Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, vol. 65, pp. 751-764, 2014.
26. W. Smith, "Effect of Light on Seleminum During the Passage of An Electric Current," Nature, no. 7, p. 303, 1873.
27. W. G. Adams and R. E. day, "V. The actio n of light in selenium," Royal Society of London, vol. 25, p. 113, 1876.
28. A. Pochettino and A. Sella, "Photoelectric behavior of anthracene," Acad. Lincei Rend., vol. 15, pp. 355-363, 1906.
29. D. Kearns and M. Calvin, "Photovoltaic Effect and Photoconductivity in Laminated Organic Systems," The Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 29, p. 950, 1958.
30. M. Bellis, "ThoughtCo.," 3 July 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-solar-cells-1992435. [Accessed 11 November 2021].
31. A. M. Rummel, J. Trosko, M. R. Wilson and B. L. Upham, "Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons with bay-like regions inhibited gap junctional intercellular communication and stimulated MAPK activity," Toxicological Sciences, vol. 49, pp. 232-40, 1999.
32. S. G. Louie, J. R. Chelikowsky and M. L. Cohen, "Ionicity and the theory of Schottky barriers," Physical Review B, vol. 15, p. 2154, 1977.
33. D. Morel, A. Ghosh, T. Feng, E. Stogryn, P. Purwin, R. Shaw and C. Fishman, "High-efficiency organic solar cells," Applied Physics Letters, vol. 32, p. 495–497, 1978.
34. M. Hiramoto and Y. Shinmura, "Organic Solar Cells," in Springer Handbook of Electronic and Photonic Materials, Springer, Cham, 2017, pp. 1329-1338.
35. G. A. Chamberlain, "Organic solar cells: A review," Solar Cells, vol. 8, pp. 47-83, 1983.
36. H. B. Richard, Photoconductivity of solids, New York: Wiley, 1960.
37. H. Spanggaard and F. C. Krebs, "A brief history of the development of organic and polymeric photovoltaics," Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, vol. 83, p. 125–146, 2004.
38. C. W. Tang, "Two-layer organic photovoltaic cell," Applied Physics letters, vol. 48, pp. 183-185, 1986.
39. M. Hiramoto, H. Fujiwara and M. Yokoyama, "Three-layered organic solar cell with a photoactive interlayer of codeposited pigments," Applied Physics letters, vol. 58, pp. 1062-1064, 1991.
40. M. Hiramoto, H. Fujiwara and M. Yokoyama, "p-i-n like behavior in three-layered organic solar cells having a co-deposited interlayer of pigments," Journal of applied physics, vol. 72, pp. 3781-3787, 1992.
41. N. S. Sariciftci, L. Smilowitz, A. J. Heeger and F. Wu, "Photoinduced Electron Transfer from a Conducting Polymer to Buckminsterfullerene," Science, vol. 258, pp. 1474-1476, 1992.
42. S. Thakral and R. M. Mehta, "Fullerenes: An introduction and overview of their biological properties," Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol. 68, pp. 13-19, 2006.
43. "Ossila," [Online]. Available: www.ossila.com/products/meh-ppv. [Accessed 2021].
44. G. Yu, J. Gao, J. C. Hummelen, F. Wudl and A. J. Heeger, "Polymer photovoltaic cells: enhanced efficiencies via a network of internal donor-acceptor heterojunctions," Science, vol. 270, pp. 1789-1791, 1995.
45. J. J. M. Halls, K. Pichler, R. H. Friend, S. C. Moratti and A. B. Holmes, "Exciton diffusion and dissociation in a Poly (p-phenylenevinylene) / C60 heterojunction photovoltaic cell," Applied Physics Letters, vol. 68, p. 3120, 1996.
46. Q. Liu, Y. Jiang, K. Jin, J. Qin and et al., "18% Efficiency organic solar cells," Science Bulletin, vol. 65, pp. 272-275, 2020.
47. Y. Lin, J. Wang, Z.-G. Zhang, H. Bai, Y. Li, D. Zhu and X. Zhan, "An Electron Acceptor Challenging Fullerenes for Efficient Polymer Solar Cells," Advanced materials, vol. 27, p. 1170–1174, 2015.
48. P. Cheng, G. Li, X. Zhan and Y. Yang, "Next-generation organic photovoltaics based on non-fullerene acceptors," Nature Photon, vol. 12, pp. 131-142, 2018.
49. I. Arbouch, Y. Karzazi and B. Hammouti, "Organic photovoltic cells: Operating Principles, recent developments and current challenges - review," Physical and Chemical News, vol. 72, pp. 73-84, 2014.
50. C. Winder, G. Matt, J. C. Hummelen, R. A. J. Janssen, N. S. Sariciftci and C. J. Brabec, "Sensitization of low bandgap polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells," Thin Solid Films, vol. 403–404, pp. 373-379, 2002.
51. L. J. A. Koster, V. D. Mihailetchi and P. W. M. Blom, "Ultimate efficiency of polymer/fullerene bulk heterojunction solar cells," Applied Physics Letters, vol. 88, p. 093511, 2006.
52. Y. Cui, H. Yao, J. Zhang, T. Zhang, Y. Wang, L. Hong and a. el., "Over 16% efficiency organic photovoltaic cells enabled by a chlorinated acceptor with increased open-circuit voltages," NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, vol. 10, p. 2515, 2019.
53. J. Yuan, Y. Zhang, L. Zhou, G. Zhang, HL Yip, TK Lau, X. Lu, C. Zhu, H. Peng, P. A. Johnson, M. Leclerc, Y. Cao, J. Ulanski, Y. Li and Y. Zou, "Single-Junction Organic Solar Cell with over 15% Efficiency Using Fused-Ring Acceptor with Electron-Deficient Core," Joule, vol. 3, pp. 1140-1151, 2019.
54. D. Qian, Z. Zheng, H. Yao and e. al., "Design rules for minimizing voltage losses in high-efficiency organic solar cells," Natyre Materials, vol. 17, pp. 703-709, 2018.
55. Y. Huang, E. J. Kramer, A. J. Heeger and G. C. Bazan, "Bulk heterojunction solar cells: morphology and performance relationships," Chemical Reviews, vol. 114, pp. 7006-7043, 2014.
56. T. M. Clarke and J. R. Durrant, "Charge Photogeneration in Organic Solar Cells," Chemical Reviews, vol. 110, p. 6736–6767, 2010.
57. J. W. K. Vandewal, T. Heumueller, C. J. Brabec, M. D. McGehee, K. Leo, M. Riede and A. Salleo, "Increased Open-Circuit Voltage of Organic Solar Cells by Reduced Donor-Acceptor Interface Area," Advanced Materials, vol. 26, p. 3839, 2014.
58. Q. Liu, S. Smeets, S. Mertens, Y. Xia, A. Valencia, J. D'Haen, W. Maes and K. Vandewal, "Narrow electroluminescence linewidths for reduced nonradiative recombination in organic solar cells and near-infrared light-emitting diodes," Joule, vol. 5, pp. 1-15, 2021.
59. Z. Luo, R. Ma, T. Liu, J. Yu, Y. Xiao, R. Sun, G. Xie, J. Yuan, Y. Chen, K. Chen, G. Chai, H. Sun, J. Min, J. Zhang, Y. Zou, C. Yang, X. Lu, F. Gao and H. Yan, "Fine-Tuning Energy Levels via Asymmetric End Groups Enables Polymer Solar Cells with Efficiencies over 17%," Joule, vol. 4, pp. 1236-1247, 2020.
60. San, "hydro," intrnationsl, pp. 34-60, 2020.
61. Z. Liu, Y. Wu, Q. Zhang and X. Gao, "Non-fullerene small molecule acceptors based on perylene diimides," Journal of Materials Chemistry A, vol. 4, pp. 17604–17622, 2016.
62. E. Team, "Easy Solar Guide," 22 November 2019. [Online]. Available: https://easysolar.guide/organic-solar-cells-vs-inorganic-solar-cells/.
63. C. Deibel and V. Dyakonov, "Polymer-Fullerene Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells," Reports on Progress in Physics, vol. 73, pp. 1-68, 2010.