Enhanced performance of PbS-sensitized solar cells via controlled successive ionic-layer adsorption and reaction†
Despite the potential of PbS quantum dots (QDs) as sensitizers for quantum-dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs), achieving a high photocurrent density over 30 mA cm−2 remains a challenging task in PbS-sensitized solar cells. In contrast to previous attempts, where Hg2+-doping or multi-step post-treatment is necessary, we are capable of achieving a high photocurrent exceeding 30 mA cm−2 simply by manipulating the successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR) method. We show that controlling temperature at which SILAR is performed is critical to obtain a higher and more uniform coverage of PbS QDs over a mesoporous TiO2 film. The deposition of a CdS inter-layer between TiO2 and PbS is found to be an effective means of ensuring high photocurrent and stability. Not only does this modification improve the light absorption capability of the photoanode, but it also has a significant effect on charge recombination and electron injection efficiency at the PbS/TiO2 interface according to our in-depth study using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The implication of subtle changes in the interfacial events via modified SILAR conditions for PbS-sensitized solar cells is discussed.