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Electrophoretic Deposition of CdSe Nanocrystals for Photovoltaic Applications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Nathanael Smith
Affiliation:, Vanderbilt University, Chemistry, 2201 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN, 37235, United States
Kevin J Emmett
k.emmett@Vanderbilt.Edu, Vanderbilt University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Nashville, TN, 37240, United States
Sandra J Rosenthal
Affiliation:, Vanderbilt University, Department of Chemistry, Nashville, TN, 37240, United States
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CdSe nanocrystals chemically linked to nanocrystalline titanium dioxide substrates form a promising material for nanostructured photovoltaic devices. The usual method for attaching the nanocrystals to the titanium dioxide substrate is by means of a linking molecule (such as mercaptopropionic acid) or in-situ growth. In this paper, we report the use of an alternative technique, electrophoretic deposition (EPD), to directly deposit already formed CdSe nanocrystals onto the substrate. In EPD, a voltage is established between two electrodes that are immersed in a solution of nanocrystals. At room temperature, a fraction of the nanocrystals are thermally charged, and these charged nanocrystals migrate to the electrodes and adhere to the surface. A significant advantage of EPD over the use of linking molecules is the speed with which the nanocrystals are deposited: EPD takes only a few minutes, compared to the several hours required for the alternative techniques. Additionally, we have fabricated initial photovoltaic devices based on electrophoretically deposited CdSe nanocrystals on a planar TiO2 thin film.

Research Article
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2008

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