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J Am Chem Soc. 2016 Mar 30;138(12):4201-9. doi: 10.1021/jacs.6b00615. Epub 2016 Mar 22.

Zn-Cu-In-Se Quantum Dot Solar Cells with a Certified Power Conversion Efficiency of 11.6%.

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Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Molecular Nanostructure and Nanotechnology, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100190, China.
Department of Engineering Science, University of Electro-Communications , Tokyo 182-8585, Japan.
Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) , Saitama 332-0012, Japan.
SEU FEI Nanopico Center, Key Lab of MEMS of Ministry of Education, Southeast University , Nanjing 210096, China.


The enhancement of power conversion efficiency (PCE) and the development of toxic Cd-, Pb-free quantum dots (QDs) are critical for the prosperity of QD-based solar cells. It is known that the properties (such as light harvesting range, band gap alignment, density of trap state defects, etc.) of QD light harvesters play a crucial effect on the photovoltaic performance of QD based solar cells. Herein, high quality ∼4 nm Cd-, Pb-free Zn-Cu-In-Se alloyed QDs with an absorption onset extending to ∼1000 nm were developed as effective light harvesters to construct quantum dot sensitized solar cells (QDSCs). Due to the small particle size, the developed QD sensitizer can be efficiently immobilized on TiO2 film electrode in less than 0.5 h. An average PCE of 11.66% and a certified PCE of 11.61% have been demonstrated in the QDSCs based on these Zn-Cu-In-Se QDs. The remarkably improved photovoltaic performance for Zn-Cu-In-Se QDSCs vs Cu-In-Se QDSCs (11.66% vs 9.54% in PCE) is mainly derived from the higher conduction band edge, which favors the photogenerated electron extraction and results in higher photocurrent, and the alloyed structure of Zn-Cu-In-Se QD light harvester, which benefits the suppression of charge recombination at photoanode/electrolyte interfaces and thus improves the photovoltage.


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