Hot-electron transfer from semiconductor nanocrystals

William A. Tisdale, Kenrick J. Williams, Brooke A. Timp, David J. Norris, Eray S. Aydil, X. Y. Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In typical semiconductor solar cells, photons with energies above the semiconductor bandgap generate hot charge carriers that quickly cool before all of their energy can be captured, a process that limits device efficiency. Although fabricating the semiconductor in a nanocrystalline morphology can slow this cooling, the transfer of hot carriers to electron and hole acceptors has not yet been thoroughly demonstrated. We used time-resolved optical second harmonic generation to observe hot-electron transfer from colloidal lead selenide (PbSe) nanocrystals to a titanium dioxide (TiO2) electron acceptor. With appropriate chemical treatment of the nanocrystal surface, this transfer occurred much faster than expected. Moreover, the electric field resulting from sub-50-femtosecond charge separation across the PbSe-TiO2 interface excited coherent vibrations of the TiO2 surface atoms, whose motions could be followed in real time. Copyright Science 2010 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science; all rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1543-1547
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume328
Issue number5985
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 18 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Tisdale, W. A., Williams, K. J., Timp, B. A., Norris, D. J., Aydil, E. S., & Zhu, X. Y. (2010). Hot-electron transfer from semiconductor nanocrystals. Science, 328(5985), 1543-1547. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1185509