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Issue 34, 2011
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Quantum dot-sensitized solar cells incorporating nanomaterials

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Quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs) are interesting energy devices because of their (i) impressive ability to harvest sunlight and generate multiple electron/hole pairs, (ii) ease of fabrication, and (iii) low cost. The power conversion efficiencies (η) of most QDSSCs (typically <4%) are, however, less than those (up to 12%) of dye-sensitized solar cells, mainly because of narrow absorption ranges and charge recombination occurring at the QD–electrolyte and TiO2–electrolyte interfaces. To further increase the values of η of QDSSCs, it will be necessary to develop new types of working electrodes, sensitizers, counter electrodes and electrolytes. This Feature Article describes the nanomaterials that have been used recently as electronic conductors, sensitizers and counter electrodes in QDSSCs. The nature, size, morphology and quantity of these nanomaterials all play important roles affecting the efficiencies of electron injection and light harvesting. We discuss the behavior of several important types of semiconductor nanomaterials (sensitizers, including CdS, Ag2S, CdSe, CdTe, CdHgTe, InAs and PbS) and nanomaterials (notably TiO2, ZnO and carbon-based species) that have been developed to improve the electron transport efficiency of QDSSCs. We point out the preparation of new generations of nanomaterials for QDSSCs and the types of electrolytes, particularly iodide/triiodide electrolytes (I/I3), polysulfide electrolytes (S2−/Sx2), and cobalt redox couples ([Co(o-phen)32+/3+]), that improve their lifetimes. With advances in nanotechnology, we foresee significant improvements in the efficiency (η > 6%) and durability (>3000 h) of QDSSCs.

Graphical abstract: Quantum dot-sensitized solar cells incorporating nanomaterials

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Article information

07 Mar 2011
12 May 2011
First published
03 Jun 2011

Chem. Commun., 2011,47, 9561-9571
Article type
Feature Article

Quantum dot-sensitized solar cells incorporating nanomaterials

Z. Yang, C. Chen, P. Roy and H. Chang, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 9561
DOI: 10.1039/C1CC11317H

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