Carbon-Based Quantum Dots for Photovoltaic Devices: A Review

Andrew Kim, Jatis Kumar Dash, Pawan Kumar, Rajkumar Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Interest in carbon quantum dots (CQDs) has recently boomed due to their potential to enhance the performance of various solar technologies as nontoxic, naturally abundant, and cleanly produced nanomaterials. CQDs and their other variations, such as nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots (NCQDs) and graphene quantum dots (GQDs), have improved the performance of luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) and photovoltaic (PV) cells due to their excellent optical properties. As fluorophores in LSCs, CQDs are mostly transparent to visible light and have absorption/re-emission spectra that can be easily controlled. The outstanding optical properties of CQDs make them promising materials to replace expensive, heavy-metal-based fluorophores. Various CQDs have also been used as or doped into the photoanode, counter electrode, hole transport layer (HTL), and electron transport layer (ETL) of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), organic solar cells (OSC), perovskite solar cells (PSCs), and other PV cell configurations. The addition of CQDs into the various solar cell components has reduced electron recombination, increased charge density, and boosted electron mobility, improving the performance of the PV cells. Enhancing the power conversion efficiency (PCE) of photovoltaic devices is essential in propagating green energy technology. Thus, CQDs offer an affordable, safe, and environmentally friendly method to advance photovoltaic performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-58
Number of pages32
JournalACS Applied Electronic Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 25

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
P.K. acknowledges the Fonds de recherche du Québec-Nature et technologies (FRQNT), Canada for the Merit scholarship program for foreign students (PBEEE) fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry


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