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Author Notes:

Department of Chemistry, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA. E-mail: tlian@emory.edu


Research Funding:

We acknowledge the financial support by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research through grant # FA9550-13-1-0020 (to TL) and by U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences through grant # DE-FG02-07ER-15906 (to DGM).

We also gratefully acknowledge NSF MRI-R2 grant (CHE-0958205) and the use of the resources of the Cherry Emerson Center for Scientific Computation.

Enhancing photo-reduction quantum efficiency using quasi-type II core/shell quantum dots


Journal Title:

Chemical Science


Volume 7, Number 7


, Pages 4125-4133

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Quantum confined semiconductor nanocrystals have emerged as a new class of materials for light harvesting and charge separation applications due to the ability to control their properties through rational design of their size, shape and composition. We report here a study of enhancing the quantum yield of methyl viologen (MV2+) photoreduction using colloidal quasi-type II CdSe/CdS core/shell quantum dots (QDs). The steady-state quantum yield of MV+radical generation, in the presence of thiols as sacrificial donors, increased monotonically with the CdS shell thickness within the studied thickness regime (0-4.7 CdS monolayers). Using ultrafast transient absorption and time-resolved photoluminescence decay spectroscopy, we found that both the rates of electron transfer from the QD to MV2+and the subsequent charge recombination in QD+-MV+complexes decreased exponentially with the shell thickness, consistent with calculated 1S electron and hole densities at the QD surfaces, respectively. Interestingly, the hole transfer rate remained relatively independent of shell thickness, likely due to a cancellation of the reduction of hole transfer coupling strength with the increased number of hole acceptor ligands on the QD surface at larger shell thickness. As a result, with increasing CdS shell thickness, the charge recombination loss decreases, enhancing the photoreduction quantum efficiency. This novel approach for improving photoreduction quantum efficiency should be applicable to many type II and quasi-type II core/shell quantum dots.

Copyright information:

This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2016

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

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