Polymer solar cells (PSCs) are considered as one of the most promising low-cost alternatives for renewable energy production with devices now reaching power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) above the milestone value of 10%. These enhanced performances were achieved by developing new electron-donor (ED) and electron-acceptor (EA) materials as well as finding the adequate morphologies in either bulk heterojunction or sequentially deposited active layers. In particular, producing adequate vertical concentration gradients with higher concentrations of ED and EA close to the anode and cathode, respectively, results in an improved charge collection and consequently higher photovoltaic parameters such as the fill factor. In this review, we relate processes to generate active layers with ED–EA vertical concentration gradients. After summarizing the formation of such concentration gradients in single layer active layers through processes such as annealing or additives, we will verify that sequential deposition of multilayered active layers can be an efficient approach to remarkably increase the fill factor and PCE of PSCs. In fact, applying this challenging approach to fabricate inverted architecture PSCs has the potential to generate low-cost, high efficiency and stable devices, which may revolutionize worldwide energy demand and/or help develop next generation devices such as semi-transparent photovoltaic windows.
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