Ultimate efficiency of polymer/fullerene bulk heterojunction solar cells

  • Koster L
  • Mihailetchi V
  • Blom P
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We present model calculations to explore the potential of polymer/fullerene bulk heterojunction solar cells. As a starting point, devices based on poly3-hexylthiophene and 6,6-phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester PCBM, reaching 3.5% efficiency, are modeled. Lowering the polymeric band gap will lead to a device efficiency exceeding 6%. Tuning the electronic levels of PCBM in such a way that less energy is lost in the electron transfer process enhances the efficiency to values in excess of 8%. Ultimately, with an optimized level tuning, band gap, and balanced mobilities polymeric solar cells can reach power conversion efficiencies approaching 11%

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