• quantum dot;
  • titania;
  • nanotube;
  • solar cell;
  • heterojunction


The quality of heterojunctions at the quantum dot (QD)-TiO2 nanotube (TNT) interface has important implications on the efficiencies of photoelectrochemical solar cells. Here, it is shown that electrophoretic deposition of pre-synthesized thioacid-capped CdTe QDs results in relatively poor charge transfer across the heterojunctions. This is likely due to the intermediate layer of bifunctional linkers (S-R-COOH) in between the QDs and TNT. On the other hand, CdTe QD-sensitized TNT prepared by in situ deposition in aqueous medium provides direct QD-TNT contact, and hence more favorable heterojunction for charge transfer. This is exemplified not only by the drastic improvement in photocurrent efficiencies, but also provides clear difference on the size-dependent electron injection efficiencies from the CdTe QDs of different sizes. By extending the system further to CdSe QDs, drastic enhancement is found when carrying out the in situ deposition in an organic medium. The results are discussed in terms of the nature of deposition and the corresponding charge transport characteristics. More importantly, the work reflects the intricacy of the effects of QD size and the quality of the heterojunctions on the overall photoconversion efficiencies.