Enhanced efficiency of PbS quantum dot-sensitized solar cells using plasmonic photoanode

  • Swati Bhardwaj
  • Arnab Pal
  • Kuntal Chatterjee
  • Tushar H Rana
  • Gourav Bhattacharya
  • Susanta Sinha Roy
  • Papia Chowdhury
  • Ganesh D. SharmaEmail author
  • Subhayan BiswasEmail author
Research Paper


In this report, an effort has been made to develop an efficient PbS quantum dot-sensitized photoanode by simple successive ionic layer adsorption and reduction technique to enhance the overall photovoltaic performance of PbS quantum dot-sensitized solar cells. Three strategies have been adopted for the improvement of the photovoltaic performance of PbS quantum dot-sensitized solar cells, i.e., (i) by incorporation of TiO2-Au nanocomposites, where Au nanoparticles of different sizes are embedded into a TiO2 matrix, and (ii) variation of temperature at which quantum dots are deposited (iii) by postdeposition annealing of QD-sensitized photoanode in Ar atmosphere. We have used electrophoretic deposition technique to develop the nanocomposite-doped photoanode. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy confirms that the Au particles dispersed in the TiO2 matrix vary from 2 to 50 nm and PbS quantum dot size ranges 3.5–6 nm. The optical absorption of PbS quantum dot-sensitized TiO2-Au-incorporated photoanode is substantially enhanced as confirmed from the UV-visible absorption spectra measurements. The current-voltage characteristics of all the plasmonic quantum dot-sensitized solar cells under illumination (100 mW/cm2, AM 1.5) show significant improvement in power conversion efficiency using the abovementioned strategies. The maximum power conversion efficiency observed in PbS quantum dot-based quantum dot-sensitized solar cells is 7.0%. Electroimpedance spectroscopy has been utilized to understand the recombination kinetics in these solar cells.


Quantum dot-sensitized solar cells Electrophoretic deposition Gold nanoparticles Energy conversion 


Funding information

This research is supported by funding from CSIR scheme 03(1304)/13/EMR-II, UGC 42-1069/ 2013 (SR) and LNM Institute of Information Technology, Jaipur.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsThe LNM Institute of Information TechnologyJaipurIndia
  2. 2.Vidyasagar UniversityMidnaporeIndia
  3. 3.Department of Physics, School of Natural ScienceShiv Nadar UniversityGreater NoidaIndia
  4. 4.Jaypee Institute of Information TechnologyNoidaIndia

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