The Potential Game-Changer : A Concept-to-Proof Study on D:A Heterojunction-Free Organic Photovoltaics

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Lijian Zuo
  • Sae Byeok Jo
  • Xueliang Shi
  • Francis Lin
  • Alex Jen


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-258
Journal / PublicationChinese Journal of Chemistry
Issue number3
Online published7 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


Since 1986, the donor-acceptor (D:A) heterojunction has been regarded a necessity for high-efficiency organic photovoltaics (OPVs), due to its unique advantage in compensating the intrinsic limitations of organic semiconductors, such as high exciton binding energy and poor ambipolar charge mobility. While this adversely causes tremendous non-radiative charge recombination and instability issues, which currently become the most critical limits for commercialization of OPVs. Here, we present a concept-to-proof study on the potential of D:A heterojunction free OPV by taking advantage of recent progress of non-fullerene acceptors. First, we demonstrate that the “free carriers” can be spontaneously generated upon illumination in an NFA, i.e., the 6TIC-4F single layer. Second, the 6TIC-4F layer also exhibits good ambipolar charge transporting property. These exceptional characteristics distinguish it from the traditional organic semiconductors, and relieve it from the reliance of D:A heterojunction to independently work as active layer. As a result, the subsequent OPV by simply sandwiching the 6TIC-4F layer between the cathode and anode yields a considerably high power conversion efficiency ~1%. Moreover, we find the D:A heterojunction free device exhibits two order of magnitude higher electroluminescence quantum efficiency and significantly reduced VOC loss by 0.16 eV compared to those of the D:A BHJ structure, validating its promise for higher efficiency in the future. Therefore, our work demonstrates the possibility of using D:A heterojunction-free device structure for high performance, that can potentially become the next game changer of OPV. © 2023 SIOC, CAS, Shanghai, & WILEY-VCH GmbH.

Research Area(s)

  • Ambipolar charge transport, Charge recombination, Organic solar cells, Perovskite-like organic semiconductor, Schottky-junction structure, Single component, Spontaneous charge generation

Citation Format(s)

The Potential Game-Changer: A Concept-to-Proof Study on D:A Heterojunction-Free Organic Photovoltaics. / Zuo, Lijian; Jo, Sae Byeok; Shi, Xueliang et al.
In: Chinese Journal of Chemistry, Vol. 42, No. 3, 01.02.2024, p. 252-258.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review