Enhancing Loading Amount and Performance of Quantum-Dot-Sensitized Solar Cells Based on Direct Adsorption of Quantum Dots from Bicomponent Solvents

Intrinsically weak interaction between oil-soluble quantum dots (QDs) and TiO2 in a direct adsorption process limits QD loading and the performance of QD-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs). Herein, the underlying chemistry and mechanisms governing QD adsorption on TiO2 were studied to improve QD loading and cell performance. Experimental results indicate that solvent polarity plays the crucial role in determining QD loading. Compared with single-component solvents, substantially greater QD loading can be realized at the critical point (CP) of bicomponent solvents, where QDs become metastable and start to precipitate. Through this strategy, average efficiency of 12.24% was obtained for ZCISe QDSCs, which is comparable to those based on the capping ligand induced self-assembly route. This report demonstrates the great potential of bicomponent solvents at the CP for high QD loading and excellent cell performance and presents a platform for assembling functional composites with the use of different nanocrystals and substrates.