Organic photovoltaics (OPV) have developed tremendously and are just in front of a large industrial endeavor along with all the available photovoltaic (PV) technologies, both established and emerging. The strength of OPV lies in the potential for fast manufacture of a low cost PV technology with no shortage of elements that comprises it. As a technology that can be manufactured using simple printing equipment this also implies that the “factory of the future” is likely to be widely distributed globally in contrast to most of today’s PV producing plants that are in the form of very large and relatively few factories. Within the OPV community there has been a strong research activity in the United States and in Europe whereas Asia has only recently intensified research in this area to a significant level. This observation is also found to account for the many conferences annually in both Europe and USA dedicated to the topic of OPV that attract participants from both the USA and Europe but relatively few from Asia. It is naïve to believe that OPV should not become a global effort and that developments would accelerate faster by maintaining this geographical imbalance. The aim with the GOPV conference was thus to bridge the gap between these three parts of the world with respect to research and development within the field of OPV and enable OPV researchers to stand together and unite the field to give OPV the most competitive edge as a PV technology. This first conference has been initiated through a public Chinese-Danish co-funded project between National Natural Research Foundation of China (NSFC) and the Danish National Research Foundation (DNRF). This special issue presents original research articles presented at the GOPV conference and they span broadly from high efficiency devices, through fundamental studies, modeling, device physics, imaging and advanced industrial processing methods for OPV. The conference itself was an unconditional success at all levels and possibly represents the first conference dedicated OPV that bridges the world. The idea behind GOPV is that nothing is automatic and that it is a dynamic conference that is repeated every year with a focus solely on hybrid, small molecule and polymer solar cells (i.e. it does not include dye sensitized solar cells and organic light emitting diodes). This latter point was found to be a key to the success and enabled the conference to span diverse topics such as life cycle analysis, economical/financial modeling, environmentally friendly processing, materials development, hybrid solar cells, small molecule solar cells, tandem solar cells, novel interface materials, morphology, fundamental physics, imaging techniques, degradation, stability, thermo-mechanical properties, roll-to-roll processing, manufacture and industrial aspects of the field. It is my hope that you will enjoy reading this extract from the GOPV conference that comprised 48 oral presentations, 24 poster presentations and had 114 participants from 18 countries. During the conference several of the speakers had signed video release forms enabling us to present a video recording of their presentation. By documenting the conference in this manner we give you the opportunity to experience a part of the GOPV conference and also made preparations for GOPV 2012 which will be held in China. The organizers will renew each year such that the conference board “en large” is dynamically changing allowing for new ideas to come forward. Only one organizer from last year’s conference will stay on the board the following year to enable propagation of the organizational experiences gained. Before signing off I would like to thank all of the co-organizers and give special thanks to Hongzheng Chen and Eva Bundgaard for their exceptional effort in making GOPV 2011 the success it was. At the operational level I would like to thank Minmin Shi for coordinating the practicalities and support during the conference making it run on time and effortlessly smooth. Finally, all that is left to say is that I look forward to GOPV 2012 and believe that many (if not all) of the participants share my sentiments.
- Polymer solar cells