Nonplasmonic Hot‐Electron Photocurrents from Mn‐Doped Quantum Dots in Photoelectrochemical Cells
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We report the measurement of the hot-electron current in a photoelectrochemical cell constructed from a glass/ITO/Al2 O3 (ITO=indium tin oxide) electrode coated with Mn-doped quantum dots, where hot electrons with a large excess kinetic energy were produced through upconversion of the excitons into hot electron hole pairs under photoexcitation at 3 eV. In our recent study (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 5549), we demonstrated the generation of hot electrons in Mn-doped II-VI semiconductor quantum dots and their usefulness in photocatalytic H2 production reaction, taking advantage of the more efficient charge transfer of hot electrons compared with band-edge electrons. Here, we show that hot electrons produced in Mn-doped CdS/ZnS quantum dots possess sufficient kinetic energy to overcome the energy barrier from a 5.4-7.5 nm thick Al2 O3 layer producing a hot-electron current in photoelectrochemical cell. This work demonstrates the possibility of harvesting hot electrons not only at the interface of the doped quantum dot surface, but also far away from it, thus taking advantage of the capability of hot electrons for long-range electron transfer across a thick energy barrier.
author list (cited authors)
Dong, Y., Rossi, D., Parobek, D., & Son, D. H.