Optimum Morphology and Performance Gains of Organic Solar Cells

By Biswajit ray1, Muhammad Alam1

1. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Published on


Morphology of light absorbing layer is known to dictate the power conversion efficiency of organic photovoltaic (OPV) cell. The innovation of bulk heterojunction (BHJ) led to significant improvement for exciton harvesting, but carrier recombination at the distributed interfaces and variability of performance have been persistent concerns. The purpose of this paper is to theoretically explore the efficiency- space of OPV as a function of the degree of randomness of its morphology and to optimize the BHJ morphology for the maximum efficiency. We use systematic numerical simulation of exciton/electron/hole transport to predict the efficiency and variability associated with various OPV morphologies. We find that while (1) the efficiency of random BHJ morphology can be close to optimal, (2) the significant variability associated with cells suggests reduced efficiency in a series-connected configuration. (3) We also find that a simple fully ordered structure may also not be optimum; instead a fin like geometry (Fig. 4) may improve efficiency. (4) We also analyze the effect of each transport parameters on the cell efficiency and show that under certain configuration of transport parameters, the long-abandoned PHJ structure may re-emerge as optimal geometry.


Biswajit Ray is a Phd student in the school of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue university, West Lafayette, Indiana. He works with Prof. Muhammad Ashraf Alam in the area of organic solar cell.


1) G.A. Buxton and N. Clarke, "Predicting structure and property relations in polymeric photovoltaic devices," Physical Review B, vol. 74, 2006, p. 085207.

2) B. Ray, P.R. Nair, and M.A. Alam, "Annealing Dependent Performance of Organic Bulk-Heterojunction Solar Cells: A Theoretical Perspective," Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2011

3) B. Ray and M.A. Alam, "A compact physical model for morphology induced intrinsic degradation of organic bulk heterojunction solar cell," Applied Physics Letters, vol. 99, Jul. 2011, pp. 033303-3.


B. Ray, M. A. Alam, "Optimum Morphology and Performance Gains of Organic Solar Cells.", 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Seattle, WA, 2011.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Biswajit ray, Muhammad Alam (2011), "Optimum Morphology and Performance Gains of Organic Solar Cells," https://nanohub.org/resources/11904.

    BibTex | EndNote



37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Seattle, WA