Quantum Dot Sensitized Solar Cells with Improved Efficiency Prepared Using Electrophoretic Deposition Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Quantum dot sensitized solar cells (QDSSC) may benefit from the ability to tune the quantum dot optical properties and band gap through the manipulation of their size and composition. Moreover, the inorganic nanocrystals may provide increased stability compared to organic sensitizers. We report the facile fabrication of QDSSC by electrophoretic deposition of CdSe QDs onto conducting electrodes coated with mesoporous TiO(2). Unlike prior chemical linker-based methods, no pretreatment of the TiO(2) was needed, and deposition times as short as 2 h were sufficient for effective coating. Cross-sectional chemical analysis shows that the Cd content is nearly constant across the entire TiO(2) layer. The dependence of the deposition on size was studied and successfully applied to CdSe dots with diameters between 2.5 and 5.5 nm as well as larger CdSe quantum rods. The photovoltaic characteristics of the devices are greatly improved compared with those achieved for cells prepared with a linker approach, reaching efficiencies as high as 1.7%, under 1 sun illumination conditions, after treating the coated electrodes with ZnS. Notably, the absorbed photon to electron conversion efficiencies did not show a clear size-dependence indicating efficient electron injection even for the larger QD sizes. The electrophoretic deposition method can be easily expanded and applied for preparations of QDSSCs using diverse colloidal quantum dot and quantum rod materials for sensitization.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010