Photovoltaic effects of CdS and PbS quantum dots encapsulated in zeolite Y

Hyun Sung Kim, Nak Cheon Jeong, Kyung Byung Yoon
Langmuir: the ACS Journal of Surfaces and Colloids 2011 December 6, 27 (23): 14678-88
Zeolite Y films (0.35-2.5 μm), into which CdS and PbS quantum dots (QDs) were loaded, were grown on ITO glass. The CdS QD-loaded zeolite Y films showed a photovoltaic effect in the electrolyte solution consisting of Na(2)S (1 M) and NaOH (0.1 M) with Pt-coated F-doped tin oxide glass as the counter electrode. In contrast, the PbS QD-loaded zeolite Y films exhibited a negligible PV effect. This contrasting behavior was proposed to arise from the large difference in driving force for the electron transfer from S(2-) in the solution to the hole in the valence band of QDs, with the former being much larger (~2 eV) than the latter (~1 eV). In the case of CdS QD-loaded zeolite Y with a loaded amount of CdS of 6.3 per unit cell, the short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and efficiency were 0.3 mA cm(-2), 423 V, 28, and 0.1%, respectively, under the AM 1.5, 100 mW cm(-2) condition. This cell was stable for more than 18 days of continuous measurements. A large (3-fold) increase in overall efficiency was observed when PbS QD-loaded zeolite Y on ITO glass was used as the counter electrode. This phenomenon suggests that the uphill electron transfer from ITO glass to S in the solution is facilitated by the photoassisted pumping of the potential energy of the electron in ITO glass to the level that is higher than the reduction potential of S by PbS QDs. Under this condition, the incident-photon-to-current conversion efficiency (IPCE) value at 398 nm was 42% and the absorbed-photon-to-current conversion efficiency (APCE) value at 405 nm was 82%. The electrolyte-mediated interdot charge transport within zeolite films is concluded to be responsible for the overall current flow.

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