Physics 230: Organic Solar Cells

Sample Search Topics & Shared Worksheet

Start your search with four topics today. You will each be responsible for adding relevant search terms (ideas) under your topic. 


  • Organic Solar Cells: Dye cells - (gratzel cells}, bulk heterojunctions (BHJs)
  • Other solar cells: Silicon solar cells, Perovkites, CdTe, CIGs, CIS
  • Energy Storage: novel ideas
  • Smart Grids  


Use Holman Library databases to find scholarship on solar energy.

  • Limit to scholarly (peer reviewed) or academic journals when given as an option.
  • Embargos: Many journals place a hold on their most recent publications. Academic Search, ProQuest and other library databases may be a year behind. If we do not have an article you need for your research, use InterLibrary Loan to try to borrow it for free from another library. Ask a librarian for help if you need it.
The Holman Library One Search searches across all library resources at once. 

This is useful in your search for peer reviewed sources. Be sure, however, to: 

  • Find relevant Subject Terms in either Academic Search from Ebsco or ProQuest's Science and Technology collection.
  • Check the filter box to include articles that are not full text only.

Search for research articles beyond the Holman Library collection with WorldCat. Borrow for free with InterLibrary Loan!

Academic Search Complete Advanced Results

Using the Advanced Search feature in a database allows you to use more than one keyword or phrase (search terms) in order to get more relevant search results. In this screenshot from Academic Search Complete:

  • "Organic Photovoltaic Cells" returns 97 articles
  • Add the keyword "experiment" and you get just 1 very focused article.

  1. Use multiple relevant search terms. Connect them with AND or OR to find sources on your topic. Avoid long phrases of natural language.
  2. Limit to Scholarly Peer Reviewed Journals
  3. Set a date limit to find current enough information
  4. To see what an article is about, click on the title. That opens the abstract. For a research study, an abstract not only summarizes the article, but also breaks it down by Purpose, Methodology, Findings, and Conclusions. This is useful! 
  5. Pay attention to and USE relevant subject terms you find
  6. To open the full text of the article, click on either the PDF or the HTML of it.



Proquest Advanced Results

DOAJ Advanced Results

Use InterLibrary Loan

No library has it all! 

Use InterLibrary Loan (or ILL) to borrow scholarly articles from other libraries. To see what else is out there in your field, don't check the box: Full Text. 

Articles usually arrive quickly and in your email, so you could see articles you request within a couple of days.

Use your article's citation to fill out the Student Interlibrary Loan form.

Use the link below to fill out an ILL form and to check out our Frequently Asked Questions page. 

Project Articles

Download and use the two articles above for your research project.

Note that the first article, Organic Photovoltaics, is password protected. Please ask your instructors for the password. 

Sample articles: Current research on fabricating photovoltaic cells

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Sample Physics Journals Available through the Holman Library