We investigate charge formation in bulk-heterojunction solar cells based on conjugated polymers in the form of alternating polyfluorene copolymers and the methanofullerene PCBM. Using transient absorption spectroscopy we show that optimal charge formation is obtained with 20-50 wt% PCBM. This is in contrast to the maximum short circuit current density obtained at similar to 80 wt% PCBM as determined by steady state current density-voltage characterization. Hence, we show explicitly that the solar cell performance of these interpenetrating polymer networks containing PCBM is limited by charge transport rather than by formation of charges. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.