Photovoltaic Effects of CdS and PbS Quantum Dots Encapsulated in Zeolite Y

Zeolite Y films (0.35–2.5 μm), into which CdS and PbS quantum dots (QDs) were loaded, were grown on ITO glass. The CdS QD-loaded zeolite Y films showed a photovoltaic effect in the electrolyte solution consisting of Na2S (1 M) and NaOH (0.1 M) with Pt-coated F-doped tin oxide glass as the counter electrode. In contrast, the PbS QD-loaded zeolite Y films exhibited a negligible PV effect. This contrasting behavior was proposed to arise from the large difference in driving force for the electron transfer from S2– in the solution to the hole in the valence band of QDs, with the former being much larger (∼2 eV) than the latter (∼1 eV). In the case of CdS QD-loaded zeolite Y with a loaded amount of CdS of 6.3 per unit cell, the short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and efficiency were 0.3 mA cm–2, 423 V, 28, and 0.1%, respectively, under the AM 1.5, 100 mW cm–2 condition. This cell was stable for more than 18 days of continuous measurements. A large (3-fold) increase in overall efficiency was observed when PbS QD-loaded zeolite Y on ITO glass was used as the counter electrode. This phenomenon suggests that the uphill electron transfer from ITO glass to S in the solution is facilitated by the photoassisted pumping of the potential energy of the electron in ITO glass to the level that is higher than the reduction potential of S by PbS QDs. Under this condition, the incident-photon-to-current conversion efficiency (IPCE) value at 398 nm was 42% and the absorbed-photon-to-current conversion efficiency (APCE) value at 405 nm was 82%. The electrolyte-mediated interdot charge transport within zeolite films is concluded to be responsible for the overall current flow.