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High-efficiency all-inorganic solar cells

Halides, halometallates and thioarsenates could be a whole new class of inorganic ligands for nanocrystals to ensure stable and more efficient solar cells.
High-efficiency all-inorganic solar cells
Progress in synthesising colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals (also known as quantum dots) has led to a surge in theoretical and experimental activity over the last two decades. State-of-the-art synthetic approaches allow obtaining inorganic nanostructures with high degree of crystallinity and precisely engineered composition, size, and morphology. These materials can also be easily processed in solution and demonstrate improved carrier mobility.

Work within the IQDOTPV (All-inorganic quantum dot films for photovoltaic applications) project led to the design of inorganic surroundings for semiconductor colloidal nanocrystals. This endowed them with improved optoelectronic properties in contrast with their organic ligand counterparts.

After synthesising nanocrystals that are optically active in the visible and near-infrared parts of the spectrum, the team experimented with chalcogenide ligands (thioarsenate), and non-chalcogenide-based inorganic ligands (halometallate and halide ions).

Measurements of the photoluminescence quantum yield of halide-based inorganic ligands demonstrated record-high numbers, though electrical conductivity between nanocrystals was found to be low. In contrast, chalcogenide-based inorganic ligands demonstrated improved electrical transport due to the lower potential barrier between nanocrystals.

Randomly packed and ordered all-inorganic nanocrystal solids were successfully synthesised within the project. The study showed that nanocrystal ordering improved the performance of all-inorganic field-electron transistors.

Colloidal metal nanocrystals are important materials that might be well suited to various electronics and optoelectronics applications. Charge transport properties and quantum yield of the newly developed all-inorganic nanocrystals compare well with their bulky organic nanocrystal counterparts both in the visible and near-infrared spectrum.

Related information


All-inorganic, solar cells, halides, inorganic ligands, semiconductor nanocrystals
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