• polymer solar cells;
  • hybrid solar cells;
  • morphology;
  • transmission electron microscopy;
  • electron tomography;
  • volume organization


Polymer and hybrid solar cells have the potential to become the leading technology of the 21st century in conversion of sun light to electrical energy because their ease processing from solution producing printable devices in a roll-to-roll fashion with high speed and low cost. The performance of such devices critically depends on the nanoscale organization of the photoactive layer, which is composed of at least two functional materials: the electron donor and the electron acceptor forming a so-called bulk heterojunction; however, control of its volume morphology still is a challenge. In this context, advanced analytical tools are required that are able to provide information on the local volume morphology of the photoactive layer with nanometer resolution. In this report electron tomography is introduced as the technique able to explore the 3D morphology of polymer and hybrid solar cells and the first results achieved are critically discussed.