Solvent Engineering of Colloidal Quantum Dot Inks for Scalable Fabrication of Photovoltaics

Development of colloidal quantum dot (CQD) inks enables single-step spin-coating of compact CQD films of appropriate thickness, enabling the promising performance of CQD photovoltaics (CQDPVs). Today’s highest-performing CQD inks rely on volatile n-butylamine (BTA), but it is incompatible with scalable deposition methods since a rapid solvent evaporation results in irregular film thickness with an uneven surface. Here, we present a hybrid solvent system, consisting of BTA and N,N-dimethylformamide, which has a favorable acidity for colloidal stability as well as an appropriate vapor pressure, enabling a stable CQD ink that can be used to fabricate homogeneous, large-area CQD films via spray-coating. CQDPVs fabricated with the CQD ink exhibit suppressed charge recombination as well as fast charge extraction compared with conventional CQD ink-based PVs, achieving an improved power conversion efficiency (PCE) of 12.22% in spin-coated devices and the highest ever reported PCE of 8.84% among spray-coated CQDPVs.

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