Colloidal Quantum Dot Photovoltaics: Current Progress and Path to Gigawatt Scale Enabled by Smart Manufacturing

Ahmad Kirmani, Joseph Luther, Milad Abolhasani, Aram Amassian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus Citations


Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) have lately been pursued with intense vigor for optoelectronic applications such as photovoltaics (PV), flexible electronics, displays, mid-infrared photodetectors, lasers, and single-photon emitters. These nanometer-sized semiconducting crystals can be suitably mass-produced and size-tuned via cost-effective solution-based synthetic routes to operate in the quantum size confinement regime, endowing them with a wide array of exotic optical and electronic properties. While the first potential market entry could be in displays and in niche applications such as "internet-of-things", ultimately, the technology has the potential to influence large-scale terrestrial power generation, because it is amenable to high-throughput synthesis from Earth-abundant materials and large-area solution-based coating techniques and can be air-stable. In this Review, we chronicle the recent advances that have propelled QD PV toward commercialization and highlight potential areas for further progress. We present an account of the material compositions being explored as QDs and their various benefits, major chemical passivation and doping strategies that have been developed to allay QD surface traps, and advanced device designs deployed to maximize charge extraction. We also discuss pathways to >20% efficient QD PV and describe recent advances in high-precision and autonomous synthesis of such materials. With recent demonstrations of scalable synthesis of high-quality QDs, smart manufacturing of QDs and QD solids, and fabrication of stable solar cells under ambient conditions, we suggest that the technology is on the road to achieving maturity and technological relevance and that gigawatt per year distributed panel production sites may be within reach.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3069-3100
Number of pages32
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 11 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-77202


  • autonomous synthesis
  • CsPbI3
  • hot-injection synthesis
  • lead chalcogenides
  • lead sulfide
  • ligand exchange
  • perovskite nanocrystals
  • perovskite quantum dots
  • perovskites
  • photovoltaics
  • quantum confinement
  • quantum dots
  • solar cells
  • solid-state ligand exchange
  • solution-phase ligand exchange


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