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Nanoscale Research Letters

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Narrow gap semiconductors, Nanostructured materials, Photovoltaic cells -- Materials, Cadmium sulfide photoconductive cells, Renewable energy sources -- Technological innovations


Narrow bandgap PbS nanoparticles, which may expand the light absorption range to the near-infrared region, were deposited on TiO₂ nanorod arrays by successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction method to make a photoanode for quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs). The thicknesses of PbS nanoparticles were optimized to enhance the photovoltaic performance of PbS QDSCs. A uniform CdS layer was directly coated on previously grown PbS-TiO₂ photoanode to protect the PbS from the chemical attack of polysulfide electrolytes. A remarkable short-circuit photocurrent density (approximately 10.4 mA/cm²) for PbS/CdS co-sensitized solar cell was recorded while the photocurrent density of only PbS-sensitized solar cells was lower than 3 mA/cm². The power conversion efficiency of the PbS/CdS co-sensitized solar cell reached 1.3%, which was beyond the arithmetic addition of the efficiencies of single constituents (PbS and CdS). These results indicate that the synergistic combination of PbS with CdS may provide a stable and effective sensitizer for practical solar cell applications.


© 2013 Li et al; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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