Heterojunction colloidal quantum dot based solar cells

Solar power is one of the most promising renewable energy sources and its terrestrial abundance is several orders of magnitude higher than world’s consumption. Conventional solar cells, however, collect only a portion of solar energy – mostly visible sunlight. Our technology is capable of collecting the entire solar energy spectrum by using semiconducting nanocrystals (NCs) as the photovoltaic material.

The use of NCs has shown potential to harness solar energy at high efficiencies and at low cost, constituting an attractive alternative to silicon-based solar cells. NCs exhibit spatial confinement of electronic carriers. This quantum optical property permits tunability of the NCs absorption properties, enabling collection of the entire solar spectrum in contrast to silicon solar cells which absorb only a portion of the solar spectrum.

The overall aim of the project is to develop solution-processed quantum dot-based infiltrated three dimensional nanostructure bulk heterojunction (BHJ) architecture in which the quantum dots (e.g. PbS) active layer is thick enough to absorb all available photons and maximize the efficiency of infrared photon absorption and to implement an optimum architecture of the electrode so that the we can increase the interaction length of photons with NCs (photon recycling) without increasing the depletion width of the device.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Edward H. Sargent


Ratan Debnath



Engineering - computer / electrical


Alternative energy


University of Toronto



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