Quantum Dot Solar Cell Fabrication Protocols

Matthew Beard, Joseph Luther, Gregory Pach, Boris Chernomordik, Ashley Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus Citations


Colloidally synthesized quantum-confined semiconducting spherical nanocrystals, often referred to as quantum dots (QDs), offer a high degree of chemical, optical, and electronic tunability. As a result, there is an increasing interest in employing colloidal QDs for electronic and optical applications that is reflected in a growing number of publications. In this protocol we provide detailed procedures for the fabrication of QD solar cells specifically employing PbSe and PbS QDs. We include details that are learned through experience, beyond those in typical methodology sections, and include example pictures and videos to aid in fabricating QD solar cells. Although successful solar cell fabrication is ultimately learned through experience, this protocol is intended to accelerate that process. The protocol developed here is intended to be a general starting point for developing PbS and PbSe QD test bed solar cells. We include steps for forming conductive QD films via dip coating as well as spin coating. Finally, we provide protocols that detail the synthesis of PbS and PbSe QDs through a unique cation exchange reaction and discuss how different QD synthetic routes could impact the resulting solar cell performance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-66828


  • PbS
  • PbSe
  • quantum dot solar cells
  • quantum dots


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