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Nat Nanotechnol. 2008 Sep;3(9):543-7. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2008.206. Epub 2008 Jul 27.

Nanoparticle-assisted high photoconductive gain in composites of polymer and fullerene.


Polymer-inorganic nanocrystal composites offer an attractive means to combine the merits of organic and inorganic materials into novel electronic and photonic systems. However, many applications of these composites are limited by the solubility and distribution of the nanocrystals in the polymer matrices. Here we show that blending CdTe nanoparticles into a polymer-fullerene matrix followed by solvent annealing can achieve high photoconductive gain under low applied voltages. The surface capping ligand renders the nanoparticles highly soluble in the polymer blend, thereby enabling high CdTe loadings. An external quantum efficiency as high as approximately 8,000% at 350 nm was achieved at -4.5 V. Hole-dominant devices coupled with atomic force microscopy images show a higher concentration of nanoparticles near the cathode-polymer interface. The nanoparticles and trapped electrons assist hole injection into the polymer under reverse bias, contributing to efficiency values in excess of 100%.

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