The conversion of solar energy directly into electricity [photovoltaics (PV)] will play a major role in the future energy mix. On average 1 kJ of solar energy falls on the Earth's surface per m2 per second of every daylight hour. Capturing a proportion of this massive and reliable resource would make a dramatic effect on the world's energy use and supply. Solution processing techniques are ideal for manufacturing large area PV devices with low embedded energy. At COPE we draw the complementary fields of synthetic chemistry and condensed matter physics together to develop new materials and device structures suitable for the preparation of solution processed, efficient, stable, large area thin film solar cells.