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Spectroscopy on the Dot

Photoelectron Spectroscopy and Time-Resolved Studies of Lead Sulfide Quantum Dots for Solar Cells

Time: Fri 2022-11-04 10.00

Location: Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm

Language: English

Subject area: Chemistry

Doctoral student: Tamara Sloboda , Tillämpad fysikalisk kemi

Opponent: Dr Regan Wilks, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Germany

Supervisor: Universitetslektor Ute B. Cappel, Tillämpad fysik, Tillämpad fysikalisk kemi; Universitetslektor Andreas Lindblad, Division of X-ray Photon Science, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Box 516, 751 20 Uppsala, Sweden; Professor Lars Kloo, Tillämpad fysikalisk kemi, Molekylär elektronik, CMD

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QC 2022-10-11


Renewable energy is an important topic as global energy consumption continues to rise. Because the sun emits an enormous amount of energy, solar energy is a promising source. However, most of the commercial solar cell technology is manufactured in an energy demanding process and there is a need for new, easily processed materials. This thesis concerns quantum dots, which are nanoparticles that can absorb light of different energies depending on their size. They can be synthesised by solution-based chemistry and turned into solid thin films to harvest sunlight. The fundamental properties of quantum dots need to be better understood before production on large scales may commence. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the fundamental properties of lead sulfide quantum dots. 

The methods used in this thesis are based on photoelectron spectroscopy. They allowed investigation of materials as-is, but also changes upon excitation by laser or X-rays. Using a laser, dynamics on pico- to microsecond timescales were studied by time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy. Using a range of X-rays, the probability of charge transfer in the attosecond range was investigated.  

Steady-state investigation showed that different surface treatment of the quantum dots caused different resistance towards surface oxidation and X-ray damage. 

Different layers in the structure of solar cells can influence the photovoltage, an important parameter in achieving high power conversion efficiencies. Time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy was developed and used to investigate the contributions of the layers to photovoltage generation. We observed photovoltage dynamics on a timescale covering six orders of magnitude. 

The mechanism of charge transfer in quantum dots of different sizes was studied by core-hole clock spectroscopy in the attosecond regime. Our results show that quantum confinement affects the charge transfer only at low excitation energies.