For any emerging photovoltaic technology to become commercially relevant, both its power conversion efficiency and photostability are key parameters to be fulfilled. Colloidal quantum dot solar cells are a solution-processed, low-cost technology that has reached an efficiency of about 9% by judiciously controlling the surface of the quantum dots to enable surface passivation and tune energy levels. However, the role of the quantum dot surface on the stability of these solar cells has remained elusive. Here we report on highly efficient and photostable quantum dot solar cells with efficiencies of 9.6% (and independently certificated values of 8.7%). As a result of optimized surface passivation and the suppression of hydroxyl ligands—which are found to be detrimental for both efficiency and photostability—the efficiency remains within 80% of its initial value after 1,000 h of continuous illumination at AM1.5G. Our findings provide insights into the role of the quantum dot surface in both the stability and efficiency of quantum dot solar cells.
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The research leading to these results has received funding from Fundació Privada Cellex, and European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-ENERGY.2012.10.2.1) under grant agreement 308997. We also acknowledge financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) and the ‘Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional’ (FEDER) through grant MAT2014-56210-R, as well as the Severo Ochoa Programme for Centres of Excellence in R&D (SEV-2015-0522). This work was also supported by AGAUR under the SGR grant (2014SGR1548). The authors thank N. C. Miller for optical model simulation and measurement assistance, H. Mäckel for providing the TPC/TPV set-up and Q. Liu for measurement assistance.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Cao, Y., Stavrinadis, A., Lasanta, T. et al. The role of surface passivation for efficient and photostable PbS quantum dot solar cells. Nat Energy 1, 16035 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nenergy.2016.35
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