Mastering heterostructured colloidal nanocrystal properties for light-emitting diodes and solar cells
Solution-grown colloidal nanocrystal (NC) materials represent ideal candidates for optoelectronic devices, due to the flexibility with which they can be synthesized, the ease with which they can be processed for device-fabrication purposes and, foremost, for their excellent and size-dependent tunable optical properties, such as high photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield, color purity, and broad absorption spectra up to the near infrared. The advent of surfactant-assisted synthesis of thermodynamically stable colloidal solutions of NCs has led to peerless results in terms of uniform size distribution, composition, rational shape-design and the possibility of building heterostructured NCs (HNCs) comprising two or more different materials joined together. By tailoring the composition, shape and size of each component, HNCs with gradually higher levels of complexity have been conceived and realized, which are endowed with outstanding characteristics and optoelectronic properties. In this review, we discuss recent advances in the design of HNCs for efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and photovoltaic (PV) solar cell devices. In particular, we will focus on the materials required to obtain superior optoelectronic quality and efficient devices, as well as their preparation and processing potential and limitations.