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Ultrafast Charge Separation and Recombination Dynamics in Lead Sulfide Quantum Dot–Methylene Blue Complexes Probed by Electron and Hole Intraband Transitions

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journal contribution
posted on 22.06.2011, 00:00 by Ye Yang, William Rodríguez-Córdoba, Tianquan Lian
Lead salt quantum dots (QDs) have emerged as attractive materials for solar energy conversion because of their broad spectral response, long exciton lifetime, and efficient multiexciton generation. However, charge separation dynamics from these QDs remain poorly understood. In this study we investigate charge separation and recombination dynamics in PbS–methylene blue (MB+) complexes by femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy. We show that while the 1S electrons and holes in excited PbS QDs lead to overlapping transient absorption features in the visible and near-IR regions, their intraband absorptions in the mid-IR can be monitored independently to directly follow the charge separation and recombination processes. The charge separation and recombination rates in PbS-MB+ complexes were found to be (2.7 ± 0.2) × 1012 and (1.1 ± 0.2) × 1011 s–1, respectively. The ultrafast charge separation rate suggests the possibility of hot electron injection and multiexciton dissociation from these strongly quantum confined QDs, consistent with recent reports of these phenomena at lead salt QD/TiO2 interfaces.