Photosensitization of ZnO nanowires with CdSe quantum dots for photovoltaic devices

Kurtis S. Leschkies, Ramachandran Divakar, Joysurya Basu, Emil Enache-Pommer, Janice E. Boercker, C. Barry Carter, Uwe R. Kortshagen, David J. Norris, Eray S. Aydil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We combine CdSe semiconductor nanocrystals (or quantum dots) and single-crystal ZnO nanowires to demonstrate a new type of quantumdot-sensitized solar cell. An array of ZnO nanowires was grown vertically from a fluorine-doped tin oxide conducting substrate. CdSe quantum dots, capped with mercaptopropionic acid, were attached to the surface of the nanowires. When illuminated with visible light, the excited CdSe quantum dots injected electrons across the quantum dol-nanowire interface. The morphology of the nanowires then provided the photoinjected electrons with a direct electrical pathway to the photoanode. With a liquid electrolyte as the hole transport medium, quantumdot-sensitized nanowire solar cells exhibited short-circuit currents ranging from 1 to 2 mA/cm 2 and open-circuit voltages of 0.5-0.6 V when illuminated with 100 mW/cm 2 simulated AM1.5 spectrum. Internal quantum efficiencies as high as 50-60% were also obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1793-1798
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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