Recent advances in spectrally tuned, solution-processed plasmonic nanoparticles have provided unprecedented control over light's propagation and absorption via engineering at the nanoscale. Simultaneous parallel progress in colloidal quantum dot photovoltaics offers the potential for low-cost, large-area solar power; however, these devices suffer from poor quantum efficiency in the more weakly absorbed infrared portion of the sun's spectrum. Here, we report a plasmonic-excitonic solar cell that combines two classes of solution-processed infrared materials that we tune jointly. We show through experiment and theory that a plasmonic-excitonic design using gold nanoshells with optimized single particle scattering-to-absorption cross-section ratios leads to a strong enhancement in near-field absorption and a resultant 35% enhancement in photocurrent in the performance-limiting near-infrared spectral region.
- Colloidal quantum dots
- localized surface plasmons