Measuring Charge Carrier Diffusion in Coupled Colloidal Quantum Dot Solids

David Zhitomirsky, Oleksandr Voznyy, Sjoerd Hoogland, Edward H. Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Scopus citations


Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) are attractive materials for inexpensive, room-temperature-, and solution-processed optoelectronic devices. A high carrier diffusion length is desirable for many CQD device applications. In this work we develop two new experimental methods to investigate charge carrier diffusion in coupled CQD solids under charge-neutral, i.e., undepleted, conditions. The methods take advantage of the quantum-size-effect tunability of our materials, utilizing a smaller-bandgap population of quantum dots as a reporter system. We develop analytical models of diffusion in 1D and 3D structures that allow direct extraction of diffusion length from convenient parametric plots and purely optical measurements. We measure several CQD solids fabricated using a number of distinct methods and having significantly different doping and surface ligand treatments. We find that CQD materials recently reported to achieve a certified power conversion efficiency of 7% with hybrid organic-inorganic passivation have a diffusion length of 80 ± 10 nm. The model further allows us to extract the lifetime, trap density, mobility, and diffusion coefficient independently in each material system. This work will facilitate further progress in extending the diffusion length, ultimately leading to high-quality CQD solid semiconducting materials and improved CQD optoelectronic devices, including CQD solar cells. © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5282-5290
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 31 2013
Externally publishedYes


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