Ligands affect the crystal structure and photovoltaic performance of thin films of PbSe quantum dots

Chih Yin Kuo, Ming Shin Su, Ching Shun Ku, Shu Min Wang, Hsin Yi Lee, Kung-Hwa Wei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We have prepared thin films of PbSe quantum dots (QDs) featuring three different ligands, oleic acid (OA), butylamine (BA), and 1,2-ethanedithiol (EDT), which have pronounced affects on the arrangement and photovoltaic performance of the PbSe QDs in the thin films. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that ligands that altered the inter-QD spacing induced significant changes in the packing of the PbSe QDs in localized regions of small areas (300 × 300 nm) of the thin films: from a superlattice of OA-capped PbSe QDs to a chaotic pattern of EDT-capped PbSe QDs. Using a synchrotron X-ray reflectivity probe and data fitting, we determined that the roughness decreased and the average densities increased for large-area (1.5 × 1.5 cm) PbSe QD thin films capped with BA and EDT, relative to those of the OA-capped PbSe QD film. In particular, the PbSe QDs' vertical packing density, which is critical for charge transport, increased substantially for the system incorporating EDT ligands. As a result, devices containing the EDT-treated PbSe QD film as the active layer displayed much improved power conversion efficiencies (PCEs) relative to those of corresponding devices featuring either the OA- or BA-capped PbSe QD films as active layers. Adopting a layer-by-layer technique, we fabricated a EDT-capped PbSe QD device that exhibited a PCE of 2.45%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11605-11612
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number31
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2011

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