The Physics of Small Molecule Acceptors for Efficient and Stable Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells

Nicola Gasparini*, Andrew Wadsworth, Maximilian Moser, Derya Baran, Iain McCulloch, Christoph J. Brabec

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Organic bulk heterojunction solar cells based on small molecule acceptors have recently seen a rapid rise in the power conversion efficiency with values exceeding 13%. This impressive achievement has been obtained by simultaneous reduction of voltage and charge recombination losses within this class of materials as compared to fullerene-based solar cells. In this contribution, the authors review the current understanding of the relevant photophysical processes in highly efficient nonfullerene acceptor (NFA) small molecules. Charge generation, recombination, and charge transport is discussed in comparison to fullerene-based composites. Finally, the authors review the superior light and thermal stability of nonfullerene small molecule acceptor based solar cells, and highlight the importance of NFA-based composites that enable devices without early performance loss, thus resembling so-called burn-in free devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1703298
JournalAdvanced Energy Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Apr 25 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • charge recombination
  • nonfullerene acceptors
  • organic solar cells
  • photophysics
  • stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Materials Science


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