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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Feb 7;10(5):5081-5089. doi: 10.1021/acsami.7b16793. Epub 2018 Jan 23.

Enhancement of Hot Electron Flow in Plasmonic Nanodiodes by Incorporating PbS Quantum Dots.

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Graduate School of EEWS, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) , Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea.
Center for Nanomaterials and Chemical Reactions, Institute for Basic Science , Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea.
Nanomechanical Systems Research Division, Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials , Daejeon 305-343, Republic of Korea.
Department of Nanomechatronics, Korea University of Science and Technology (UST) , Daejeon 305-350, Republic of Korea.


The enhancement of hot electron generation using plasmonic nanostructures is a promising strategy for developing photovoltaic devices. Here, we show that hot electron flow generated in plasmonic Au/TiO2 nanodiodes by incident light can be amplified when PbS quantum dots are deposited onto the surface of the nanodiodes. The effect is attributed to efficient extraction of hot electrons via a three-dimensional Schottky barrier, thus giving new pathways for hot electron transfer. We also demonstrate a correlation between the photocurrent and Schottky barrier height when using PbS quantum dots with varying size and ligand treatments that allow us to control the electric properties (e.g., band gap and Fermi level, respectively) of the PbS quantum dots. This simple method introduces a new technique for further improving the power conversion efficiency of thin-film photovoltaic devices.


PbS quantum dots; hot electrons; momentum of hot electrons; plasmonic nanodiode; three-dimensional Schottky barrier


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