Built-in quantum dot antennas in dye-sensitized solar cells Academic Article uri icon


  • A new design of dye-sensitized solar cells involves colloidal semiconductor quantum dots that serve as antennas, funneling absorbed light to the charge separating dye molecules via nonradiative energy transfer. The colloidal quantum dot donors are incorporated into the solid titania electrode resulting in high energy transfer efficiency and significant improvement of the cell stability. This design practically separates the processes of light absorption and charge carrier injection, enabling us to optimize each of these separately. Incident photon-to-current efficiency measurements show a full coverage of the visible spectrum despite the use of a red absorbing dye, limited only by the efficiency of charge injection from the dye to the titania electrode. Time resolved luminescence measurements clearly relate this to Förster resonance energy transfer from the quantum dots to the dye. The presented design introduces new degrees of freedom in the utilization of quantum dot sensitizers for photovoltaic cells. In particular, it opens the way toward the utilization of new materials whose band offsets do not allow direct charge injection.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010