MgCl2 passivated ZnO electron transporting layer to improve PbS quantum dot solar cells

Yijun Gao, Robert Patterson, Long Hu, Lin Yuan, Zhilong Zhang, Yicong Hu, Zihan Chen, Zhi Li Teh, Gavin Conibeer, Shujuan Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The unique tunable bandgaps and straightforward synthesis of colloidal quantum dots make them promising low-cost materials for photovoltaics. High-performance colloidal quantum dot solar cells rely on good-quality electron transporting layers (ETLs) to make carrier selective contacts. Despite extensive use of n-type oxides as ETLs, a detailed understanding of their surface and interface states as well as mechanisms to improve their optical properties are still under development. Here, we report a simple procedure to produce MgCl2 passivated ZnO nanoparticles ETLs that show improved device performance. The MgCl2 treated ZnO electron transporting layers boost the PbS colloidal quantum dot cell efficiency from 6.3% to 8.2%. The cell exhibits reduced defects leading to significant improvements of both FF and J sc. This low-temperature MgCl2 treated ZnO electron transporting layer may be applied in solution processed tandem cells as a promising strategy to further increase cell efficiencies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number085403
Number of pages7
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • ZnO nanoparticle
  • surface passivation
  • colloidal quantum dots
  • solar cells


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