Optoelectronic Properties of Semiconductor Quantum Dot Solids for Photovoltaic Applications
Quantum dot (QD) solids represent a new type of condensed matter drawing high fundamental and applied interest. Quantum confinement in individual QDs, combined with macroscopic scale whole materials, leads to novel exciton and charge transfer features that are particularly relevant to optoelectronic applications. This Perspective discusses the structure of semiconductor QD solids, optical and spectral properties, charge carrier transport, and photovoltaic applications. The distance between adjacent nanoparticles and surface ligands influences greatly electrostatic interactions between QDs and, hence, charge and energy transfer. It is almost inevitable that QD solids exhibit energetic disorder that bears many similarities to disordered organic semiconductors, with charge and exciton transport described by the multiple trapping model. QD solids are synthesized at low cost from colloidal solutions by casting, spraying, and printing. A judicious selection of a layer sequence involving QDs with different size, composition, and ligands can be used to harvest sunlight over a wide spectral range, leading to inexpensive and efficient photovoltaic devices.