Assembly of CdS quantum dots onto mesoscopic TiO2 films for quantum dot-sensitized solar cell applications

Yu Jen Shen, Yuh Lang Lee

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Abstract

Colloidal cadmium sulfide (CdS) quantum dots (QDs) were prepared and surface modified by mercaptosuccinic acid (MSA) to render a surface with carboxylic acid groups (MSA-CdS). The MSA-CdS QDs were then assembled onto bare TiO2 mesoporous films using the carboxylic groups/TiO2 interaction. The TiO2 film was also surface modified by 3-mercaptopropyl trimethoxysilane (MPTMS) or 3-aminopropyl-methyl diethoxysilane (APMDS) to prepare, respectively, a thiol (-SH) or amino (-NH2) terminated surface for binding with the CdS QDs. The experimental results showed that the MPTMS-modified film has the highest adsorption rate and adsorption amount to the CdS QDs, attributable to the strong thiol/CdS interaction. In contrast, the adsorption rate and incorporated amount of the QDs on the bare TiO2 film are much lower than for the silane-modified films. The incident photon-to-current conversion efficiency (IPCE) obtained for the CdS-sensitized TiO2 electrode was about 20% (at 400 nm) for the bare TiO2, 13% for the MPTMS-TiO2, and 6% for APMDS-TiO 2. The current-voltage measurement under dark conditions reveals a higher dark current on the MPTMS- and APMDS-modified electrodes, indicating a lower coverage ratio of CdS on these TiO2 films. This result is attributed to the fast adsorption rate of CdS QDs on the bottleneck of a mesopore which inhibits the transport of the QDs deep into the inner region of a pore. For the bare TiO2 film, the lower incorporated amount of CdS but higher energy conversion efficiency indicates the formation of a better-covered CdS QDs monolayer. The moderate adsorption rate of MSA-CdS QDs using the carboxylic acid/TiO2 interaction is responsible for the efficient assembly of QDs onto the mesoporous TiO2 films.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045602
JournalNanotechnology
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jan 30

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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