Synthesis of cadmium chalcogenide based quantum dots for enhanced multiple exciton generation

  • Robert Page

    Student thesis: Phd


    Quantum dots (QDs) have the potential to produce more than one exciton per incident photon, if the photon energy is greater than twice the band gap energy. This process of multiple exciton generation (MEG) has the potential to lead to a step change in the efficiency of solar panels, by utilising energy commonly wasted as heat in conventional solar cells. A wide range of CdSe/CdTe and CdTe/CdSe quantum dots with and without a CdS shell were synthesised with varying core sizes and shell thicknesses. The excited state dynamics of these samples were studied with transient absorption and photoluminescence studies, with their MEG efficiencies obtained. Record MEG efficiencies were obtained with values reaching 142 ± 9 % achieved. The charge separation afforded by the type-II electronic configuration, allowed the first attractive biexciton interaction for a type-II QD system, with the potential for reducing the creation energy for a second exciton this affords. Efficient surface passivation of QDs was achieved through the reaction of CdCl2 with CdTe QDs, with near unity photoluminescence quantum yields (PLQYs) achieved. The suppression of surface trap states resulted in mono-exponential photoluminescence decay traces, with a resultant increase in exciton lifetime. Further CdCl2 treatment was carried out on CdSe/CdTe quasi-type-II QDs with alternating 'Cd rich' and 'Te rich' surfaces to elucidate the processes involved in surface treatment. It is shown that Te surface atoms are preferentially etched upon treatment, with the reaction being more aggressive when 'Te rich' surfaces are treated. The importance of surface composition is studied with trap states associated with chalcogen dangling bonds more prevalent and hence the increased requirement for their passivation is outlined. Control of the core/shell interface is also shown to be important in reducing trap states and ultimately increasing PLQYs, which is desirable for many optoelectronic applications.
    Date of Award1 Aug 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorPaul O'Brien (Supervisor) & David Binks (Supervisor)


    • Quntum dots
    • Multiple exciton generation
    • Cadmium chalcogenides

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