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Issue 25, 2015
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CuInS2/ZnS nanocrystals as sensitisers for NiO photocathodes

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Abstract

Nickel oxide (NiO) is the most universally studied photocathode to date, however, its poor fill factor (FF) makes its efficiency much lower than its counterpart, n-type photoanodes. Its significance in photovoltaics is based on the potential to fabricate tandem photoelectrodes in order to enhance the overall efficiency of the existing devices. Furthermore, limited work on the sensitisation of NiO with semiconducting nanocrystals (NCs) exists. For the first time, we have fabricated NiO photocathodes sensitised with aqueous CuInS2/ZnS NCs. The NCs were chemically bound to the NiO films with the aid of carboxyl and thiol groups. This was achieved without modifying the bulk surface properties of NiO. Binding of the NCs was investigated using TEM, SEM, XPS, XANES, EXAFS modelling and ToF-SIMS. NiO films were assembled into CuInS2/ZnS NC sensitised photocathodes and their photovoltaic properties were compared to those of unsensitised and dye-sensitised NiO solar cells. We demonstrate that non-toxic NCs can be used to sensitise NiO photocathodes to achieve an (almost) all-inorganic system.

Graphical abstract: CuInS2/ZnS nanocrystals as sensitisers for NiO photocathodes

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Mar 2015, accepted on 06 May 2015 and first published on 11 May 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5TA01821H
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J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015,3, 13324-13331

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    CuInS2/ZnS nanocrystals as sensitisers for NiO photocathodes

    T. J. Macdonald, Y. J. Mange, M. R. Dewi, H. U. Islam, I. P. Parkin, W. M. Skinner and T. Nann, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2015, 3, 13324
    DOI: 10.1039/C5TA01821H

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