• 71.23.An;
  • 72.20.Jv;
  • 72.80.Le;
  • 73.50.Pz;
  • 73.63.Bd


The power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells based on donor–acceptor blends is governed by an interplay of polaron pair dissociation and bimolecular polaron recombination. Both processes are strongly dependent on the charge carrier mobility, the dissociation increasing with faster charge transport, with raised recombination losses at the same time. Using a macroscopic effective medium simulation, we calculate the optimum charge carrier mobility for the highest power conversion efficiency, for the first time accounting for injection barriers and a reduced Langevin-type recombination. An enhancement of the charge carrier mobility from 10–8 m2/V s for state of the art polymer–fullerene solar cells to about 10–6 m2/V s, which yields the maximum efficiency, corresponds to an improvement of only about 20% for the given parameter set. (© 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)