Pyroelectricity of Lead Sulfide (PbS) Quantum Dot Films Induced by Janus-Ligand Shells

Zhiyuan Huang, Ji Hao, Jeffrey Blackburn, Matthew Beard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus Citations


Asymmetry is an essential property to control. To do that in nanocrystalline systems we have developed methods to produce Janus-ligand shells on otherwise symmetric PbS quantum dots (QDs). Here, we demonstrate that control by constructing a system that exhibits pyroelectricity built from spherical PbS QDs. We observed a pyroelectric current in two different configurations. In one configuration, the QDs are self-assembled into close-packed arrays while in the second configuration, the QDs are dispersed into an electro-inactive polymer, polydimethylsiloxane. Both exhibit a pyroelectric response. In the first configuration we estimate a lower limit of the pyroelectric coefficient to be 1.97 × 10-7 C/m2·K, which is likely limited by the degree of QD alignment during film formation but is already on par with common pyroelectric systems. Compared with inorganic ceramic-like and polymeric pyroelectric materials, pyroelectric films self-assembled from polar QDs are easier to prepare, responsive to light with different energies based on QD exciton energy, and the polarization of each QD could be easily tuned by constructing different Janus-ligand shells.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)14965-14971
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number9
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-80344


  • asymmetric ligand shell
  • Janus
  • lead sulfide
  • pyroelectricity
  • quantum dots


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