Improving Solar Cell Performance Using Quantum Dot Triad Charge-Separation Engines
We use kinetic modeling to explore the current-voltage, power-voltage, and power conversion efficiency characteristics of quantum dot dyads and triads as possible light absorption and charge separation engines in quantum dot, bulk heterojunction solar cells. The external and internal power conversion quantum efficiencies are significantly enhanced by introducing a third quantum dot between the donor and acceptor quantum dots. Given the constraint of comparable charge-recombination and charge-separation rates, open-circuit voltages for triads are predicted to be about 10%-17% larger than those for dyads, and short-circuit currents for triads are about 400% larger than those for dyads. These improvements in the efficiencies can be further enhanced by tuning the band-edge energy offset of the middle-position quantum dot from its neighbors. The band-edge energies of the middle quantum dot should be tuned so that they form a cascading band-edge energy alignment from the band-edge energies of the left CdTe QD to the right CdSe QD. To produce the most favorable solar cell performance, the middle quantum dot's conduction (valence) band edge should be closer to the right quantum dot's band edge when the charge recombination rates are low (high) and near the conduction (valence) band edge of the left quantum dot when the charge recombination rates are high (low). This analysis identifies important strategies to design multi-QD assemblies for solar energy harvesting and conversion.
Liu, R; Bloom, BP; Waldeck, DH; Zhang, P; Beratan, DN
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