Organic solar cell materials and active layer designs-improvements with carbon nanotubes: A review

Bernard Ratier, Jean Michel Nunzi, Matt Aldissi, Thomas M. Kraft, Erwin Buncel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Organic solar cells offer an opportunity to diversify renewable energy sources owing to their low technological cost. They are amenable to large surfaces and can easily be integrated into buildings. It is necessary, however, to improve their energy efficiency and durability for the development of a sustainable technology. In these devices, photovoltaic conversion is based on the separation of photogenerated charges at an interface between electron donor and acceptor materials, which imposes some constraints on the photoactive layer of the cells. In this paper, which includes some of our studies, we address optimization of the active layer: absorption and exciton dissociation steps, the open-circuit voltage and the active layer morphology. A promising direction proposed to improve the active layer morphology and cell efficiency is the incorporation of highly anisotropic nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes, which may facilitate charge transport to the electrodes. Dispersion and orientation of the nanotubes in the organic matrix are discussed and we suggest an ideal model polymer solar cell which will maximize performance of the cells by using carbon nanotubes in the active layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-354
Number of pages13
JournalPolymer International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Bulk heterojunction
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Carbon nanotube functionalization
  • Electric field orientation
  • Interpenetrating network morphology
  • Organic solar cell
  • Polymer solar cell


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