Photovoltaic cell devices constructed from organic materials are becoming increasingly efficient because of the discovery of the bulk heterojunction concept. Today, organic photovoltaic cell (OPVC) devices fabricated from the blends of poly(3-hyxylthiopene) (P3HT) and [6,6] –phenyl C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) are the most widely studied bulk heterojunction systems because of their relatively good photovoltaic (PV) properties. Although the P3HT:PCBM based solar devices exhibit excellent PV properties compared to other bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells, their efficiency ( 8%) is still too low compared to that ( 20%) of conventional silicon PV cells. One way of improving the performance of these devices is by inserting a metal oxide buffer layer between the active layer and the anode. In addition, the PV properties of OPVC devices can also be improved by post-fabrication heat treatment (or annealing). This review provides an overview of OPVC devices focusing on: a brief history of the OPVC devices, device construction, and the effects of ZnO nanoparticles buffer layer and post-fabrication annealing on the general performance of P3HT:PCBM based solar devices.
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