The anisotropy of nanocrystals and surface functional groups play an important role in their photo-absorption as well as opto-electronic properties. In this manuscript, we report on the synthesis of cluster-like and cubic FeS2 nanocrystals via a simple colloidal chemistry method. As-prepared FeS2 nanocrystals exhibit an enhanced absorption in the light range of 400–1200 nm due to the free carrier induced localized surface plasmon resonances (LSPRs). Compared to nanoclusters, FeS2 nanocubes show a stronger absorption at longer wavelength with larger scattering effect. The surface of as-synthesized FeS2 nanocrystals has been further modified via post-synthetic ligand exchange to remove the insulating long organic hydrocarbon molecules. An obvious red shift of corresponding LSPRs frequency of FeS2 nanocrystals is observed, indicating the decrease of free carrier concentration. High quality FeS2 thin films with thickness of ~500 nm have been spray-painted from colloidal nanocrystal suspensions. The photoresponse activity has been investigated with a structure of FTO/FeS2 thin film/FTO both in the dark and under illumination using a solar simulator (AM 1.5 G irradiation, 100 mW cm−2). The photocurrent of FeS2 nanocubes is almost two times higher than that of nanoclusters, which is in accordance with stronger light absorption of FeS2 nanocubes from UV-Vis-NIR absorption spectra. After ligand exchange, an enhancement of photocurrent has been observed for cluster-like and cubic FeS2 thin films by 136.8 and 125.7% at 1000 mV, respectively. FeS2 nanocrystals with tunable LSPRs and enhanced photocurrent are attractive for applications in low-cost thin film photovoltics.
Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics – Springer Journals
Published: May 15, 2017
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