Analyzing the efficiency, stability and cost potential for fullerene-free organic photovoltaics in one Figure of Merit

Ning Li, Iain McCulloch, Christoph J. Brabec

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


The power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) of solution-processed organic photovoltaics (OPV) devices continue increasing towards the 15% milestone. The recently-emerging non-fullerene acceptors (NFAs) have significantly accelerated this development. Most of the efficiency analyses performed previously are based on a fullerene acceptor without considering its contribution to the enhancement of photo-absorption and PCE. Moreover, the stability and cost potential of OPV devices are usually not discussed, which sometimes makes the efficiency prediction less representative for broad interest. In this work, we effectively combine the prediction of efficiencies with experimentally determined stability data to analyze and predict the commercial potential of a NFA-based OPV product. Assuming that NFAs dominate the blend near IR absorption, the efficiency limit of OPV devices is predicted to be close to 20% and is found to be insensitive to the donor bandgap. Along with the excellent photo-stability observed for state-of-the-art NFA-based OPV devices, it is suggested to design corresponding customized donors with promising processing properties, excellent environmental stability and low synthesis complexity as a realistic material pair for large-scale production and commercialization.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1355-1361
Number of pages7
JournalEnergy & Environmental Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was financially supported by the DFG research grant: BR 4031/13-1. N.L. acknowledges the financial support from the ETI funding at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg and the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology by funding the HIERN (IEK11) of FZ Jülich. C.J.B. gratefully acknowledges the financial support through the “Aufbruch Bayern” initiative of the state of Bavaria (EnCN and “Solar Factory of the Future”), the Bavarian Initiative “Solar Technologies go Hybrid” (SolTech), the SFB 953 (DFG), the Cluster of Excellence “Engineering of Advanced Materials” (EAM) at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg (project EXC 315) (Bridge Funding).


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