Special Issue "Materials for Organic Photovoltaics"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Luiz Fernando Ribeiro Pereira
Guest Editor
Departamento de Física and i3N – Institute of Nanostructures, Nanomodelling and Nanofabrication, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: organic semiconductors; light emitting diodes (OLEDs); photovoltaics (OPVs); field effect transistors (OFETs); chemical/biological sensors for environment and human analytes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The search for clean energy sources has been a fundamental key in materials research. Particularly, the photovoltaic field attracts significant scientific and technological resources towards achieving low costs, as well as suitable and profitable power generation. In the several kinds of photovoltaic sources, organic-based devices (OPVs) are currently much more than a simple scientific curiosity. Despite their relatively low efficiencies and lifetimes, the ratio cost of production/energy produced, they are, by far, the most favorable among all types of photovoltaics that are currently known. The high-output/low cost fabrication in continuous medium based on roll-to-roll (R2R) process, together high flexible/extremely thin film panels, opened new perspectives of applications never imagined before. In the roadmap from light absorption to charge capture at electrodes, donor – acceptor materials are the device groundwork. In this base of photovoltaic process, materials and devices must fulfill the requirements for suitable energy conversion. Efficient sun light absorption, charge separation and carrier transport effects, must be correlated with the organic films formation (micro and nanostructure) and the consequent electrical phenomena. The dependence of the figures of merit with molecular conformation, and the physical models related with the energy stepwise conversion, need to be fully understand to allow reliable improvements. Factors like absorption coefficients, diffusion lengths and carrier mobilities, strongly dependent on materials and film formation, modulates all the macroscopic OPV properties. The fast progress of such interrelationship, will determine the future of the OPVs.

This Special Issue aims to focus the development of organic photovoltaics devices, in a materials relationship framework, including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Molecular tailoring of organic semiconductors for high efficient OPVs;
  • Specific low band-gap donor materials for large sun spectrum absorption;
  • Materials and process for OPVs for high-throughput fabrication;
  • Photo-physics and photoconductivity of organic photovoltaic materials;
  • Morphology of active OPV layers, film formation and related optic-electrical phenomena;
  • Electrical carrier transport on donor-acceptor structure and trapping effects on semiconductor defects;
  • Adaptive OPV structure development regarding the uses of new organic semiconductors;
  • New materials for OPVs for non-conventional substrates, towards lightweight, flexible, thin and outstanding technological applications;
  • Physical and electrical modulation of properties of OPVs based on novel materials;
  • Lab-to-fab framework for OPVs.

Prof. Dr. Luiz Fernando Ribeiro Pereira
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • New OPV donor-acceptor materials
  • OPVs film morphology
  • Molecular engineering and sun light absorption
  • OPV efficiency and related film formation
  • Impurities effects in OPV figures of merit
  • Scaling-up of OPVs flexible panels
  • OPV layers interfaces
  • Carrier mobilities and diffusion lengths
  • OPVs lifetime
  • Niche applications of OPVs

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
PffBT4T-2OD Based Solar Cells with Aryl-Substituted N-Methyl-Fulleropyrrolidine Acceptors
Materials 2019, 12(24), 4100; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12244100 - 08 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Novel C60 and C70N-methyl-fulleropyrrolidine derivatives, containing both electron withdrawing and electron donating substituent groups, were synthesized by the well-known Prato reaction. The corresponding highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO)/lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) energy levels were determined by cyclic voltammetry, [...] Read more.
Novel C60 and C70 N-methyl-fulleropyrrolidine derivatives, containing both electron withdrawing and electron donating substituent groups, were synthesized by the well-known Prato reaction. The corresponding highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO)/lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) energy levels were determined by cyclic voltammetry, from the onset oxidation and reduction potentials, respectively. Some of the novel fullerenes have higher LUMO levels than the standards PC61BM and PC71BM. When tested in PffBT4T-2OD based polymer solar cells, with the standard architecture ITO/PEDOT:PSS/Active-Layer/Ca/Al, these fullerenes do not bring about any efficiency improvements compared to the standard PC71BM system, however they show how the electronic nature of the different substituents strongly affects the efficiency of the corresponding organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices. The functionalization of C70 yields a mixture of regioisomers and density functional theory (DFT) calculations show that these have systematically different electronic properties. This electronic inhomogeneity is likely responsible for the lower performance observed in devices containing C70 derivatives. These results help to understand how new fullerene acceptors can affect the performance of OPV devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Organic Photovoltaics)
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