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Nature. 2000 Jan 27;403(6768):408-10.

Efficient organic photovoltaic diodes based on doped pentacene.

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Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, New Jersey 07974-0636, USA.


Recent work on solar cells based on interpenetrating polymer networks and solid-state dye-sensitized devices shows that efficient solar-energy conversion is possible using organic materials. Further, it has been demonstrated that the performance of photovoltaic devices based on small molecules can be effectively enhanced by doping the organic material with electron-accepting molecules. But as inorganic solar cells show much higher efficiencies, well above 15 per cent, the practical utility of organic-based cells will require their fabrication by lower-cost techniques, ideally on flexible substrates. Here we demonstrate efficiency enhancement by molecular doping in Schottky-type photovoltaic diodes based on pentacene--an organic semiconductor that has received much attention as a promising material for organic thin-film transistors, but relatively little attention for use in photovoltaic devices. The incorporation of the dopant improves the internal quantum efficiency by more than five orders of magnitude and yields an external energy conversion efficiency as high as 2.4 per cent for a standard solar spectrum. Thin-film devices based on doped pentacene therefore appear promising for the production of efficient 'plastic' solar cells.


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