Nature Materials, Vol.17, No.8, 703-+, 2018
Design rules for minimizing voltage losses in high-efficiency organic solar cells
The open-circuit voltage of organic solar cells is usually lower than the values achieved in inorganic or perovskite photovoltaic devices with comparable bandgaps. Energy losses during charge separation at the donor-acceptor interface and non-radiative recombination are among the main causes of such voltage losses. Here we combine spectroscopic and quantum-chemistry approaches to identify key rules for minimizing voltage losses: (1) a low energy offset between donor and acceptor molecular states and (2) high photoluminescence yield of the low-gap material in the blend. Following these rules, we present a range of existing and new donor-acceptor systems that combine efficient photocurrent generation with electroluminescence yield up to 0.03%, leading to non-radiative voltage losses as small as 0.21 V. This study provides a rationale to explain and further improve the performance of recently demonstrated high-open-circuit-voltage organic solar cells.