A Facet-Specific Quantum Dot Passivation Strategy for Colloid Management and Efficient Infrared Photovoltaics

Colloidal nanocrystals combine size- and facet-dependent properties with solution processing. They offer thus a compelling suite of materials for technological applications. Their size- and facet-tunable features are studied in synthesis; however, to exploit their features in optoelectronic devices, it will be essential to translate control over size and facets from the colloid all the way to the film. Larger-diameter colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) offer the attractive possibility of harvesting infrared (IR) solar energy beyond absorption of silicon photovoltaics. These CQDs exhibit facets (nonpolar (100)) undisplayed in small-diameter CQDs; and the materials chemistry of smaller nanocrystals fails consequently to translate to materials for the short-wavelength IR regime. A new colloidal management strategy targeting the passivation of both (100) and (111) facets is demonstrated using distinct choices of cations and anions. The approach leads to narrow-bandgap CQDs with impressive colloidal stability and photoluminescence quantum yield. Photophysical studies confirm a reduction both in Stokes shift (≈47 meV) and Urbach tail (≈29 meV). This approach provides a ≈50% increase in the power conversion efficiency of IR photovoltaics compared to controls, and a ≈70% external quantum efficiency at their excitonic peak.

Kim, Y., Che, F., Jo, J. W., Choi, J., García de Arquer, F. P., Voznyy, O., … Sargent, E. H. (2019). A Facet-Specific Quantum Dot Passivation Strategy for Colloid Management and Efficient Infrared Photovoltaics. Advanced Materials, 31(17), 1805580. doi:10.1002/adma.201805580

Y.K., F.C., J.W.J., and J.C. contributed equally. This work was supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST, Office of Sponsored Research (OSR), Award No. OSR-2017-CPF-3325) and Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence program (ORF7-Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ontario Research Fund-Research Excellence Round 7). E.B. gratefully acknowledges financial support by the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO Vlaanderen). Y.K. received financial support from the DGIST R&D Programs of the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning of Korea (18-ET-01). M.B.J.R. and J.H. acknowledge financial support from the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO, grants nr ZW15_09-GOH6316 and G.098319N) and the Flemish government through long-term structural funding Methusalem (CASAS2, Meth/15/04). H.Y. acknowledges the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO) for a postdoctoral fellowship. The authors thank L. Levina, R. Wolowiec, D. Kopilovic, and E. Palmiano for their technical help over the course of this research.


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