Optical Absorbance Enhancement in PbS QD/Cinnamate Ligand Complexes

Matthew Beard, Arthur Nozik, Alan Sellinger, Marton Voros, Nicholas Brawand, Brett McNichols, Giulia Galli, Noah Bronstein, Daniel Kroupa, Chloe Castaneda

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36 Scopus Citations


We studied the optical absorption enhancement in colloidal suspensions of PbS quantum dots (QD) upon ligand exchange from oleate to a series of cinnamate ligands. By combining experiments and ab initio simulations, we elucidate physical parameters that govern the optical absorption enhancement. We find that, within the cinnamate/PbS QD system, the optical absorption enhancement scales linearly with the electronic gap of the ligand, indicating that the ligand/QD coupling occurs equally efficient between the QD and ligand HOMO and their respective LUMO levels. Disruption of the conjugation that connects the aromatic ring and its substituents to the QD core causes a reduction of the electronic coupling. Our results further support the notion that the ligand/QD complex should be considered as a distinct chemical system with emergent behavior rather than a QD core with ligands whose sole purpose is to passivate surface dangling bonds and prevent agglomeration.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3425-3433
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-70974


  • ligand exchange
  • quantum dot/ligand interactions
  • quantum dots
  • solar-photochemistry
  • tunable properties


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