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Title: Auger Up-Conversion of Low-Intensity Infrared Light in Engineered Quantum Dots

One source of efficiency losses in photovoltaic cells is their transparency toward solar photons with energies below the band gap of the absorbing layer. This loss can be reduced using a process of up-conversion whereby two or more sub-band-gap photons generate a single above-gap exciton. Traditional approaches to up-conversion, such as nonlinear two-photon absorption (2PA) or triplet fusion, suffer from low efficiency at solar light intensities, a narrow absorption bandwidth, nonoptimal absorption energies, and difficulties for implementing in practical devices. We show that these deficiencies can be alleviated using the effect of Auger up-conversion in thick-shell PbSe/CdSe quantum dots. This process relies on Auger recombination whereby two low-energy, core-based excitons are converted into a single higher-energy, shell-based exciton. When compared to their monocomponent counterparts, the tailored PbSe/CdSe heterostructures feature enhanced absorption cross-sections, a higher efficiency of the “productive” Auger pathway involving re-excitation of a hole, and longer lifetimes of both core- and shell-localized excitons. These features lead to effective up-conversion cross-sections that are more than 6 orders of magnitude higher than for standard nonlinear 2PA, which allows for efficient up-conversion of continuous wave infrared light at intensities as low as a few watts per square centimeter.
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Center for Advanced Solar Photophysics
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1936-0851; TRN: US1800911
Grant/Contract Number:
Published Article
Journal Name:
ACS Nano
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 1936-0851
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; Auger recombination; Auger up-conversion; biexciton; core/shell PbSe/CdSe quantum dot; single exciton; trion; two-photon absorption; up-conversion
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1416307