Energy-cascade organic photovoltaic devices incorporating a host-guest architecture

S. Matthew Menke, Russell J. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


In planar heterojunction organic photovoltaic devices (OPVs), broad spectral coverage can be realized by incorporating multiple molecular absorbers in an energy-cascade architecture. Here, this approach is combined with a host-guest donor layer architecture previously shown to optimize exciton transport for the fluorescent organic semiconductor boron subphthalocyanine chloride (SubPc) when diluted in an optically transparent host. In order to maximize the absorption efficiency, energy-cascade OPVs that utilize both photoactive host and guest donor materials are examined using the pairing of SubPc and boron subnaphthalocyanine chloride (SubNc), respectively. In a planar heterojunction architecture, excitons generated on the SubPc host rapidly energy transfer to the SubNc guest, where they may migrate toward the dissociating, donor-acceptor interface. Overall, the incorporation of a photoactive host leads to a 13% enhancement in the short-circuit current density and a 20% enhancement in the power conversion efficiency relative to an optimized host-guest OPV combining SubNc with a nonabsorbing host. This work underscores the potential for further design refinements in planar heterojunction OPVs and demonstrates progress toward the effective separation of functionality between constituent OPV materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2912-2918
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 4 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Chemical Society.


  • OPV
  • SubNc
  • SubPc
  • cascade
  • diffusion
  • energy transfer
  • exciton


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