PbS quantum dots as additives in methylammonium halide perovskite solar cells: The effect of quantum dot capping

Thi Tuyen Ngo, Sofia Masi, Perla F. Mendez, Miri Kazes, Dan Oron, Iván Mora Seró

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Colloidal PbS quantum dots (QDs) have been successfully employed as additives in halide perovskite solar cells (PSCs) acting as nucleation centers in the perovskite crystallization process. For this strategy, the surface functionalization of the QDs, controlled via the use of different capping ligands, is likely of key importance. In this work, we examine the influence of the PbS QD capping on the photovoltaic performance of methylammonium lead iodide PSCs. We test PSCs fabricated with PbS QD additives with different capping ligands including methylammonium lead iodide (MAPI), cesium lead iodide (CsPI) and 4-aminobenzoic acid (ABA). Both the presence of PbS QDs and the specific capping used have a significant effect on the properties of the deposited perovskite layer, which affects, in turn, the photovoltaic performance. For all capping ligands used, the inclusion of PbS QDs leads to the formation of perovskite films with larger grain size, improving, in addition, the crystalline preferential orientation and the crystallinity. Yet, differences between the capping agents were observed. The use of QDs with ABA capping had a higher impact on the morphological properties while the employment of the CsPI ligand was more effective in improving the optical properties of the perovskite films. Taking advantage of the improved properties, PSCs based on the perovskite films with embedded PbS QDs exhibit an enhanced photovoltaic performance, showing the highest increase with ABA capping. Moreover, bulk recombination via trap states is reduced when the ABA ligand is used for capping of the PbS QD additives in the perovskite film. We demonstrate how surface chemistry engineering of PbS QD additives in solution-processed perovskite films opens a new approach towards the design of high quality materials, paving the way to improved optoelectronic properties and more efficient photovoltaic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4109-4118
Number of pages10
JournalNanoscale Advances
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)

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