Quantum dots (QDs) represent one of the most promising materials for third-generation solar cells due to their potential to boost the photoconversion efficiency beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit. Composite nanocrystals can challenge the current scenario by combining broad spectral response and tailored energy levels to favor charge extraction and reduce energy and charge recombination. We synthesized PbS/CdS QDs with different compositions at the surface of TiO2 nanoparticles assembled in a mesoporous film. The ultrafast photoinduced dynamics and the charge injection processes were investigated by pump-probe spectroscopy. We demonstrated good injection of photogenerated electrons from QDs to TiO2 in the PbS/CdS blend and used the QIN to fabricate solar cells. The fine-tuning of chemical composition and size of lead and cadmium chalcogenide QDs led to highly efficient PV devices (3% maximum photoconversion efficiency). This combined study paves the way to the full exploitation of QDs in next-generation photovoltaic (PV) devices.
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