Organic photovoltaic Cells:

Operating principles, recent developments

and current challenges - Review


I. Arbouch1, Y. Karzazi1,2*, B. Hammouti1,3

1 LCAE-URAC 18, Faculty of Sciences, University of Mohammed Premier, B.P. 4808, 60046 Oujda, Morocco

2 National School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Mohammed Premier,

B.P. 3, 32003 Sidi Bouafif, ENSA Al Hoceima, Morocco.

3Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Taibah University, Al Madinah Al Mounawara, 30002 Saudi Arabia

* Corresponding author. E-mail:  (B. Hammouti), (Y. Karzazi)

Received: 23 January 2014; revised version accepted: 18 March 2014



     Organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells are currently attracting a great deal of scientific and economic interest and are playing a crucial role as one of the leading emergent photovoltaic technologies for low cost power production. Recent researches have unanimously proven the promise of this young photovoltaic technology in terms of their light weight, mechanically flexibility, ease of processing and low cost. In terms of performance, organic solar cells have witnessed a rapid increase in power conversion efficiency driven primarily by materials development, physical understanding and device optimization. Although the highest reported power conversion efficiencies have not yet reached those of their inorganic counterparts, the perspective of cheap production as well as the perpetual improvements in device stability drives the development of organic solar cells further in a dynamic way. In this review, the concept of organic solar cells is outlined; the device structure, operating principles and performance characteristics are detailed along with an overview of the recent developments that have been accomplished in the three major research fields of OPV: Power conversion efficiency (PCE), process and stability. An outlook of the imminent challenges that require more attention for future development of this technology is also presented.


Keywords : Organic photovoltaic cells; Conjugated polymers; Fullerene; Active layer; Electron donor; Electron acceptor; Exciton; Heterojunction.



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