Organic solar cells typically employ only two organic semiconductors: a p-type Donor and a n-type Acceptor. Due to the intrinsic narrow absorption width of organic Donors, the binary solar cells exhibit a noticeably poor light-harvesting capability, which limits their highest efficiency achieved today to ~ 10 %. Ternary solar cells that mix two or more Donors of different absorption features, on the other hand, enjoy both an increased light absorption width, and an easy fabrication process associated with their simple structures. However, their fundamental working principles are still under investigation
In a Perspective, published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, investigators in the You Group offer their insights on the major governing mechanisms in these intriguing ternary solar cells. Through careful analyses of exemplary cases, they summarize the advantages and limitations of the three major mechanisms: charge transfer, energy transfer, and parallel-linkage. Further, they identify a few worthy future directions for these ternary solar cells. For example, incorporating singlet fission or upconversion materials into the energy transfer dominant ternary solar cells can theoretically breach the S-Q limit of single junction solar cells. This Perspective assures researchers working in this area that the feedback loop between fundamental understanding of mechanisms and materials selection will accelerate the efficiency improvement of these ternary solar cells.
The Macromolecular Journals have selected their top nine articles from around 1300 manuscripts published over the past 18 months, and one of the nine selected articles was published by the You Group here at Carolina Chemistry.
These nine articles will be published in Best of Macromulecular Journals, and distributed at all major conferences in polymer science, which will provide the highest possible exposure for the selected top articles.