Clean Technology 2010

Synthesis and Photovoltaic Application of Ternary Lead Chalcogenide Alloy Nanocrystals

D.K. Smith, J.M. Luther, M.C. Beard, O.E. Semonin, A.J. Nozik
National Renewable Energy Laboratory, US

Keywords: lead, selenium, tellurium, sulfur, nanocrystal, photovoltaics

Abstract:

Alloying quantum dots (QDs) allows for intimate control over size-dependent properties by providing a means to tune the band gap independent of the QD size. The PbX QD system has received considerable attention for solar-energy conversion strategies because of its low band gap and large Bohr-radii. Ternary alloy QDs of PbSexTe1-x, PbSxTe1-x, and PbSxSe1-x were synthesized using a one-pot hot injection method. Careful selection of the anion precursors is required to match the chemical reactivity of each component. The QD composition was determined using X-ray diffraction and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy. Absorbance and photoluminescence spectroscopy reveal that the band gap of the QDs can be tuned by varying the elemental composition, reaction time or temperature, or lead to oleic acid ratio. Finally, we discuss prospects for incorporating these alloys in solar energy conversion strategies.
 
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