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A CdSe Nanowire/Quantum Dot Hybrid Architecture for Improving Solar Cell Performance

Authors

  • Yanghai Yu,

    1. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Radiation Laboratory University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN, 46556 (USA)
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  • Prashant V. Kamat,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Radiation Laboratory University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN, 46556 (USA)
    2. Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Radiation Laboratory University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN, 46556 (USA)
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  • Masaru Kuno

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Radiation Laboratory University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN, 46556 (USA)
    • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Radiation Laboratory University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN, 46556 (USA).
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Abstract

Incorporating colloidal CdSe quantum dots (QDs) into CdSe nanowire (NW)-based photoelectrochemical solar cells increases their incident-photon-to-carrier conversion efficiencies (IPCE) from 13% to 25% at 500 nm. While the effect could, in principle, stem from direct absorption and subsequent carrier generation by QDs, the overall IPCE increase occurs across the entire visible spectrum, even at wavelengths where the dots do not absorb light. This beneficial effect originates from an interplay between NWs and QDs where the latter fill voids between interconnected NWs, providing electrically accessible conduits, in turn, enabling better carrier transport to electrodes. The presence of QDs furthermore reduces the residual polarization anisotropy of random NW networks. Introducing QDs therefore addresses an important limiting constraint of NW photoelectrochemical solar cells. The effect appears to be general and may aid the future design and implementation of other NW-based photovoltaics.

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