Strategies to Improve Photovoltaic Performance of “Green” CuInS2 Quantum Dots

Document Type : Original Article


1 Faculty of New Sciences and Technologies, University of Tehran, North Kargar Street, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Theoretical Chemistry & Biology, School of Biotechnology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden

3 Organic Chemistry, Centre of Molecular Devices, Department of Chemistry, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden

4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden


While nanocrystals in group II-IV semiconductors have been extensively studied as photosensitizers in quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs), their practical use is severely hampered by the high toxicity of the heavy metals, like Cd, Pb, and Hg, present in these semiconductors. Our present work is based on a proposition to use a “green” alternative to the currently used sensitizers, namely CuInS2 which is a low-toxic semiconductor.  However, as for many other types of QDs, surface defects limit also their photovoltaic performance. Therefore, in order to passivate the surface defects and improve the performance of CuInS2 QDs we explore in this work two strategies - ZnS shell coating and hybrid passivation. The results show that although ZnS shell coating can effectively passivate the surface defects, the electron injection from QDs to TiO2 nanoparticle is also hampered. Moreover, the size of CuInS2 QDs is increased after the shell coating, which also is unfavorable for the enhancement of the solar cells efficiency. In contrast, hybrid passivation can passivate the surface defects on the CuInS2 QDs without size changing, and can increase the loading efficiency of the QDs simultaneously. Consequently, the efficiency of the solar cells is improved to 4.7%, which is a promising result for the green CuInS2 based QDSCs. Therefore, in addition to the most used shell coatings of CuInS2 QDs, hybrid passivation may be an effective way for improving their photovoltaic performance. This study employs two strategies “hybrid passivation and ZnS shell coating” and discuss about their effect in solar cell efficiency.


Main Subjects

© 2023 The Author(s). Journal of Progress in Physics of Applied Materials published by Semnan University Press. This is an open access article under the CC-BY 4.0 license. (

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