Colloidal quantum dot ligand engineering for high performance solar cells

Ruili Wang, Yuequn Shang, Pongsakorn Kanjanaboos, Wenjia Zhou, Zhijun Ning, Edward H. Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

263 Scopus citations


Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) are fast-improving materials for next-generation solution-processed optoelectronic devices such as solar cells, photocatalysis, light emitting diodes, and photodetectors. Nanoscale CQDs exhibit a high surface to volume ratio, and a significant fraction of atoms making up the quantum dots are thus located on the surface. CQD surface states therefore play a critical role in determining these materials' properties, influencing luminescence, defect energy levels, and doping type and density. In the past five years, halide ligands were applied to CQD solar cells, and these not only improved charge carrier mobility, but also reduced defects on the surface. With the inclusion of halide ligands, CQD solar cell certified power conversion efficiencies have increased rapidly from an initial 5% in 2010 to the latest certified values over 10%. In this perspective article, we summarize recent advances in ligand engineering that improve the performance of CQD solar cells, focusing on the use of halide inorganic ligands to improve CQD surface passivation and film conductivity simultaneously.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1130-1143
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy & Environmental Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 10 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-05-26
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): KUS-11-009-21
Acknowledgements: Z. N acknowledges start-up funding from ShanghaiTech University, The Young 1000 Talents Program, and NSFC (21571129). E. H. S acknowledges support from award KUS-11-009-21 from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), from the Ontario Research Fund - Research Excellence Program, from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, and from the International Cooperation of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Korea government Ministry of Knowledge Economy (2012T100100740). P. K. acknowledges support from Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, the Thailand Research Fund (TRF), and the National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC), NSTDA, Ministry of Science and Technology, Thailand, through its program of Centers of Excellence Network. We thank Dr. Oleksandr Voznyy for helpful discussion about device performance simulation.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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