Quantum dot solar cells: Small beginnings have large impacts

Abiseka Akash Ganesan, Arjan J. Houtepen, Ryan W. Crisp

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


From a niche field over 30 years ago, quantum dots (QDs) have developed into viable materials for many commercial optoelectronic devices. We discuss the advancements in Pb-based QD solar cells (QDSCs) from a viewpoint of the pathways an excited state can take when relaxing back to the ground state. Systematically understanding the fundamental processes occurring in QDs has led to improvements in solar cell efficiency from ~3% to over 13% in 8 years. We compile data from ~200 articles reporting functioning QDSCs to give an overview of the current limitations in the technology. We find that the open circuit voltage limits the device efficiency and propose some strategies for overcoming this limitation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1867
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • IV-VI semiconductors
  • Lead sulfide
  • Ligand-exchange
  • Nanocrystals
  • Photovoltaics
  • Quantum dots
  • Solar cells
  • Solution-processed

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