Nanocrystal Quantum Dot Devices: How the Lead Sulfide (PbS) System Teaches Us the Importance of Surfaces

Authors

  • Weyde M. M. Lin Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Maksym Yarema Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland;, Email: yaremam@ethz.ch
  • Mengxia Liu Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, 10 King's College Road, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3G4, Canada
  • Edward Sargent Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, 10 King's College Road, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3G4, Canada
  • Vanessa Wood Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, ETH Zurich, Switzerland;, Email: vwood@ethz.ch

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.2533/chimia.2021.398

Keywords:

Lead sulfide colloidal nanocrystals, Nanocrystal quantum dot devices, Semiconductor nanocrystals

Abstract

Semiconducting thin films made from nanocrystals hold potential as composite hybrid materials with new functionalities. With nanocrystal syntheses, composition can be controlled at the sub-nanometer level, and, by tuning size, shape, and surface termination of the nanocrystals as well as their packing, it is possible to select the electronic, phononic, and photonic properties of the resulting thin films. While the ability to tune the properties of a semiconductor from the atomistic- to macro-scale using solution-based techniques presents unique opportunities, it also introduces challenges for process control and reproducibility. In this review, we use the example of well-studied lead sulfide (PbS) nanocrystals and describe the key advances in nanocrystal synthesis and thin-film fabrication that have enabled improvement in performance of photovoltaic devices. While research moves forward with novel nanocrystal materials, it is important to consider what decades of work on PbS nanocrystals has taught us and how we can apply these learnings to realize the full potential of nanocrystal solids as highly flexible materials systems for functional semiconductor thin-film devices. One key lesson is the importance of controlling and manipulating surfaces.

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Published

2021-05-28

How to Cite

[1]
W. M. M. Lin, M. Yarema, M. Liu, E. Sargent, V. Wood, Chimia 2021, 75, 398, DOI: 10.2533/chimia.2021.398.

Issue

Section

Scientific Articles