Understanding the stability and degradation mechanisms of organic solar materials is critically important to achieving long device lifetimes. Here, an investigation of the photodegradation of polymer:fullerene blend fi lms exposed to ambient conditions for a variety of polymer and fullerene derivative combinations is presented. Despite the wide range in polymer stabilities to photodegradation, the rate of irreversible polymer photobleaching in blend fi lms is found to consistently and dramatically increase with decreasing electron affi nity of the fullerene derivative. Furthermore, blends containing fullerenes with the smallest electron affi nities photobleached at a faster rate than fi lms of the pure polymer. These observations can be explained by a mechanism where both the polymer and fullerene donate photogenerated electrons to diatomic oxygen to form the superoxide radical anion which degrades the polymer. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.