A new type of intrinsic photoconductor was used as a donor in bulk heterojunction solar cells, in blends with PCBM. The donor is a square planar cyclopalladated coordination complex, with a Nile red moiety and a Schiff base as ligands, coordinated by a Pd(II) metal center. The photoconducting properties of the complex were characterized. Photovoltaic devices exhibit low performance, but the analysis of the wavelength dependence of the efficiency reveals a much higher photocurrent upon absorption of the complex, when compared to the photocurrent obtained via absorption by PCBM. This effect is tied to the higher tendency of the intrinsic photoconductor towards exciton dissociation at the heterojunction. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.