Single-step colloidal quantum dot films for infrared solar harvesting

Amirreza Kiani, Brandon R. Sutherland, Younghoon Kim, Olivier Ouellette, Larissa Levina, Grant Walters, Cao Thang Dinh, Mengxia Liu, Oleksandr Voznyy, Xinzheng Lan, Andre J. Labelle, Alexander H. Ip, Andrew H. Proppe, Ghada H. Ahmed, Omar F. Mohammed, Sjoerd Hoogland, Edward H. Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Semiconductors with bandgaps in the near- to mid-infrared can harvest solar light that is otherwise wasted by conventional single-junction solar cell architectures. In particular, colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) are promising materials since they are cost-effective, processed from solution, and have a bandgap that can be tuned into the infrared (IR) via the quantum size effect. These characteristics enable them to harvest the infrared portion of the solar spectrum to which silicon is transparent. To date, IR CQD solar cells have been made using a wasteful and complex sequential layer-by-layer process. Here, we demonstrate ∼1 eV bandgap solar-harvesting CQD films deposited in a single step. By engineering a fast-drying solvent mixture for metal iodide-capped CQDs, we deposited active layers greater than 200 nm in thickness having a mean roughness less than 1 nm. We integrated these films into infrared solar cells that are stable in air and exhibit power conversion efficiencies of 3.5% under illumination by the full solar spectrum, and 0.4% through a simulated silicon solar cell filter.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183105
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number18
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


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