4 years ago

Designing Transmitter Ligands That Mediate Energy Transfer between Semiconductor Nanocrystals and Molecules

Designing Transmitter Ligands That Mediate Energy Transfer between Semiconductor Nanocrystals and Molecules
Ming L. Tang, Zhiyuan Huang
Molecular control of energy transfer is an attractive proposition because it allows chemists to synthetically tweak various kinetic and thermodynamic factors. In this Perspective, we examine energy transfer between semiconductor nanocrystals (NCs) and π-conjugated molecules, focusing on the transmitter ligand at the organic–inorganic interface. Efficient transfer of triplet excitons across this interface allows photons to be directed for effective use of the entire solar spectrum. For example, a photon upconversion system composed of semiconductor NCs as sensitizers, bound organic ligands as transmitters, and molecular annihilators has the advantage of large, tunable absorption cross sections across the visible and near-infrared wavelengths. This may allow the near-infrared photons to be harnessed for photovoltaics and photocatalysis. Here we summarize the progress in this recently reported hybrid upconversion platform and point out the challenges. Since triplet energy transfer (TET) from NC donors to molecular transmitters is one of the bottlenecks, emphasis is on the design of transmitters in terms of molecular energetics, photophysics, binding affinity, stability, and energy offsets with respect to the NC donor. Increasing the efficiency of TET in this hybrid platform will increase both the up- and down-conversion quantum yields, potentially exceeding the Shockley–Queisser limit for photovoltaics and photocatalysis.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.6b08783

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b08783

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