There is disclosed ultrathin film material templating layers that force the morphology of subsequently grown electrically active thin films have been found to increase the performance of small molecule organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells. There is disclosed electron-transporting material, such as hexaazatriphenylene-hexacarbonitrile (HAT-CN) can be used as a templating material that forces donor materials, such as copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) to assume a vertical-standing morphology when deposited onto its surface on an electrode, such as an indium tin oxide (ITO) electrode. It has been shown that for a device with HAT-CN as the templating buffer layer, the fill factor and short circuit current of CuPc:C60 OPVs were both improved compared with cells lacking the HAT-CN template. This is explained by the reduction of the series resistance due to the improved crystallinity of CuPc grown onto the ITO surface.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 This invention was made with U.S. Government support under Contract No. DE-SC00000957 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights to this invention.