Quantum Dot Solar Cells

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2127 Scopus Citations


Quantum dot (QD) solar cells have the potential to increase the maximum attainable thermodynamic conversion efficiency of solar photon conversion up to about 66% by utilizing hot photogenerated carriers to produce higher photovoltages or higher photocurrents. The former effect is based on miniband transport and collection of hot carriers in QD array photoelectrodes before they relax to the band edges through phonon emission. The latter effect is based on utilizing hot carriers in QD solar cells to generate and collect additional electron-hole pairs through enhanced impact ionization processes. Three QD solar cell configurations are described: (1) photoelectrodes comprising QD arrays, (2) QD-sensitized nanocrystalline TiO2, and (3) QDs dispersed in a blend of electron- and hole-conducting polymers. These high-efficiency configurations require slow hot carrier cooling times, and we discuss initial results on slowed hot electron cooling in InP QDs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalPhysica E: Low-Dimensional Systems and Nanostructures
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2002

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-590-32888


  • (Ultra-high photovoltaic) conversion efficiency
  • Efficiency limits
  • Hot electrons
  • Impact ionization
  • Quantum dots


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