Advanced Materials

Organic Solar Cells


  • Prof. Dieter Wöhrle,

    1. Institut für Organische und Makromolekulare Chemie Universität Bremen, Fachbereich 2 W-2800 Bremen 33 (FRG)
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    • studied chemistry at the Freie Universität, Berlin, before moving to the Fritz-Haber-Institut of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, being awarded a Ph. D. for work on polynitriles in the group of Prof. G. Manecke in 1968. He then moved back to the Freie Universität for his habilitation in organic and macromolecular chemistry, completed in 1972, before becoming a Full Professor at the University of Bremen in 1975 where he is now Professor of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry. He has published over 130 papers and holds a number of patents.

  • Dr. Dieter Meissner

    1. Institut für Solarenergieforschung GmbH Sokelantstraße 5, W-3000 Hannover 1 (FRG)
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    • studied chemistry at the University of Hamburg, FRG, and electrochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK, before being awarded a Ph.D. in 1986 from the University of Hamburg for work on semiconductor electrochemistry in the groups of Prof. B. Kastening and Prof. R. Memming. A short stay (1986–87) at the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) in Golden, Colorado, USA, was followed by his appointment as Assistant Professor at the Institute for Physical Chemistry in Hamburg. In 1988 he moved to the newly founded Institute for Solar Energy Conversion (ISFH) in Hannover, FRG, where he is now leading teams studying photoelectrochemistry as well as new materials, for solar-cell applications although he still also teaches actively in Hamburg.

  • This work is supported by the Bundesministerium für Forschung und Technologie der Bundesrepublik Deutschland contract No. 328963A. The authors are grateful to J. Elbe, Dr. V. Schmidt and B. Tennigkeit (Bremen) and S. Günster and S. Siebentritt (Hannover) for their enthusiastic engagement in the work on organic solar cells. In addition, the authors are indebted to the Hoechst AG (Prof. Sixl, Dr. Praß and Dr. Hickel) for the interest in this work.


Review: The conversion of sunlight into electricity can be achieved using a solar cell and is one of the most attractive future soruce of energy. Silicon-based cells, while quite efficient, are difficult and expensive to produce, a fact that drives up the cost of electricity produced using them. The alternative, organic-based cells (see Figure) have the potential advantages of ease of processing and cheapness if their efficiency can be brought up to reasonable levels. Recent progress made and future targets in this field are reviewed.

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