Journal of Materials Research

Reviews—Organic Electronics Special Section

Organic solar cells: An overview

Harald Hoppea1 c1 and Niyazi Serdar Sariciftcia1

a1 Linz Institute for Organic Solar Cells (LIOS), Physical Chemistry, Johannes Kepler University, 4040 Linz, Austria


Organic solar cell research has developed during the past 30 years, but especially in the last decade it has attracted scientific and economic interest triggered by a rapid increase in power conversion efficiencies. This was achieved by the introduction of new materials, improved materials engineering, and more sophisticated device structures. Today, solar power conversion efficiencies in excess of 3% have been accomplished with several device concepts. Though efficiencies of these thin-film organicdevices have not yet reached those of their inorganic counterparts (η ≈ 10–20%); the perspective of cheap production (employing, e.g., roll-to-roll processes) drives the development of organic photovoltaic devices further in a dynamic way. The two competitive production techniques used today are either wet solution processing or dry thermal evaporation of the organic constituents. The field of organic solar cells profited well from the development of light-emitting diodes based on similar technologies, which have entered the market recently. We review here the current status of the field of organic solar cells and discuss different production technologies as well as study the important parameters to improve their performance.

(Received March 08 2004)

(Accepted March 12 2004)

Key Words:

  • Organic;
  • Photovoltaic;
  • Nanoscale


c1 Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: