Single-Layered Organic Photovoltaics with Double Cascading Charge Transport Pathways: 18% Efficiencies

Ming Zhang, Lei Zhu, Guanqing Zhou, Tianyu Hao, Chaoqun Qiu, Zhe Zhao, Qin Hu, Bryon Larson, Haiming Zhu, Zaifei Ma, Zheng Tang, Wei Feng, Yongming Zhang, Thomas Russell, Feng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

548 Scopus Citations


The chemical structure of donors and acceptors limit the power conversion efficiencies achievable with active layers of binary donor-acceptor mixtures. Here, using quaternary blends, double cascading energy level alignment in bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic active layers are realized, enabling efficient carrier splitting and transport. Numerous avenues to optimize light absorption, carrier transport, and charge-transfer state energy levels are opened by the chemical constitution of the components. Record-breaking PCEs of 18.07% are achieved where, by electronic structure and morphology optimization, simultaneous improvements of the open-circuit voltage, short-circuit current and fill factor occur. The donor and acceptor chemical structures afford control over electronic structure and charge-transfer state energy levels, enabling manipulation of hole-transfer rates, carrier transport, and non-radiative recombination losses.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number309
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-75329


  • OPV
  • quaternary blend
  • world record efficiency


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