Qualitative analysis of bulk-heterojunction solar cells without device fabrication: An elegant and contactless method

D. Baran, N. Li, A.-C. Breton, A. Osvet, T. Ameri, M. Leclerc, C.J. Brabec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The enormous synthetic efforts on novel solar cell materials require a reliable and fast technique for the rapid screening of novel donor/acceptor combinations in order to quickly and reliably estimate their optimized parameters. Here, we report the applicability of such a versatile and fast evaluation technique for bulk heterojunction (BHJ) organic photovoltaics (OPV) by utilizing a steady-state photoluminescence (PL) method confirmed by electroluminescence (EL) measurements. A strong relation has been observed between the residual singlet emission and the charge transfer state emission in the blend. Using this relation, a figure of merit (FOM) is defined from photoluminescence and also electroluminescence measurements for qualitative analysis and shown to precisely anticipate the optimized blend parameters of bulk heterojunction films. Photoluminescence allows contactless evaluation of the photoactive layer and can be used to predict the optimized conditions for the best polymer-fullerene combination. Most interestingly, the contactless, PL-based FOM method has the potential to be integrated as a fast and reliable inline tool for quality control and material optimization. © 2014 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10949-10955
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Electroluminescence
  • Photoluminescence
  • Solar cells
  • Bulk heterojunction (BHJ)
  • Bulk-heterojunction solar cells
  • Charge transfer state
  • Figure of merit (FOM)
  • Material optimization
  • Optimized conditions
  • Organic photovoltaics
  • Solar cell materials
  • Heterojunctions


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