Open-circuit voltage limit caused by recombination through tail states in bulk heterojunction polymer-fullerene solar cells

Garcia-Belmonte, Germà; Bisquert, Juan
March 2010
Applied Physics Letters;3/15/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 11, p113301
Academic Journal
The output open-circuit voltage of bulk heterojuntion polymer-fullerene solar cells exhibts an offset of Δ≈0.3 V with the difference between the donor highest-occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and the acceptor lowest-unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO), as discussed by Scharber et al. [Adv. Mater. (Weinheim, Ger.) 18, 789 (2006)]. We show that the energetic disorder of the electronic density-of-states (DOS) of acceptor and donor materials reduces the splitting of the electron and hole Fermi levels in bulk heterojunction solar cells, by restricting the accumulation of carriers into the tails of the DOS. A simple model based on the kinetic balance between photogeneration and recombination fluxes provides a lower limit to the energy offset Δ>(σn2+σp2)/kBT in terms of the disorder parameters.


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