The vision of organic photovoltaics is that of a low cost solar energy conversion platform that provides lightweight, flexible solar cells that are easily incorporated into existing infrastructure with minimal impact on land usage. Polymer solar cells have been a subject of growing research interest over the past quarter century, and are now developed to the point where they are on the verge of introduction into the market. Towards the goal of continuing to improve the performance of polymer solar cells, a number of avenues are being explored. Here, the focus is on optimization of device performance via the development of a more fundamental understanding of device parameters. The fundamental operating principle of an organic solar cell is based on the cooperative interaction of molecular or polymeric electron donors and acceptors. Here the state-of-the-art in understanding of the physical and electronic interactions between donor and acceptor components is examined, as is important for understanding future avenues of research and the ultimate potential of this technology.
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