Sustainable Power Webinar Series

Organic photovoltaic technology: Is it ready for commercialisation?



The current success of organic semiconductor technology is mainly driven by the development of organic light emitting diodes (OLED), which are now routinely employed in display technologies. In the last decade, however, organic photovoltaics (OPV), leveraging the impressive improvement in device efficiency and stability, have gradually moved from a lab curiosity to a niche market.[1] Their recent success has coincided with the rapid development of effective replacements for the fullerene-based materials that have been prevalent as electron acceptor materials until recently; namely the small molecule nonfullerene acceptors (NFAs).[2] Through strategic design, an acceptor-donor-acceptor (A-D-A) configuration afforded highly absorbing small molecules with tunable energetics, thereby allowing the achievement of record power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) in OPVs. This relatively new class of materials offer a number of opportunities to develop new areas of research. Between those, organic photodetector (OPD), a technology based on organic photodiodes and thus closely related to OPV, is one of the most exciting.[3] In this seminar, I will review the current state-of-the-art of OPV technology and provide my perspective on future development of this technology as well as novel ventures for organic photodiodes.

  1. ?A. Wadsworth, Z. Hamid, J. Kosco, N. Gasparini, I. McCulloch, Adv. Mater. 2020, 32, 2001763.
  2. ?A. Wadsworth, M. Moser, A. Marks, M. S. Little, N. Gasparini, C. J. Brabec, D. Baran, I. McCulloch, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2019, 48, 1596.
  3. ?H. Bristow, P. Jacoutot, A. D. Scaccabarozzi, M. Babics, M. Moser, A. Wadsworth, T. D. Anthopoulos, A. Bakulin, I. McCulloch, N. Gasparini, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2020, acsami.0c14016.


Dr. Nicola Gasparini received his B.Sc. and M.Sc, in Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, and Photochemistry and Molecular Materials, respectevely, from the University of Bologna, Italy. In 2014 he joined the group of Prof. Brabec in the Institute of Materials for Electronics and Energy Technology (i-MEET) at the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnber (FAU) as Marie-Curie Fellow and received his Ph.D in 2017. In September 2017, he joined the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) as a postdoctoral fellow in the OMEGA Lab of Prof. Baran. Since September 2019, he is an independent researcher at Imperial College London holding a prestigious Imperial College Research Fellowship. He made major scientific contributions regarding photophysical properties of organic semiconductors, resulting in over 70 peer-reviewed articles, (including publications in Nature family journals, Energy and Environmental Science and Advanced Energy Materials). His research interests are in organic semiconductors with particular interests in charge transport and recombination processes in organic solar cells and photodetectors.

About Energy Futures Lab

Energy Futures Lab is one of six Global Institutes at Imperial College London. The institute was established to address global energy challenges by identifying and leading new opportunities to serve industry, government and society at large through high quality research, evidence and advocacy for positive change. The institute aims to promote energy innovation and advance systemic solutions for a sustainable energy future by bringing together the science, engineering and policy expertise at Imperial and fostering collaboration with a wide variety of external partners. The Energy Futures Lab daytime seminars are delivered by staff and students from across the College and further afield.

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