Multiple exciton generation (MEG) in quantum dots (QDs) has the potential to greatly increase the power conversion efficiency in solar cells and in solar-fuel production. During the MEG process, two electron-hole pairs (excitons) are created from the absorption of one high-energy photon, bypassing hot-carrier cooling via phonon emission. Here we demonstrate that extra carriers produced via MEG can be used to drive a chemical reaction with quantum efficiency above 100%. We developed a lead sulfide (PbS) QD photoelectrochemical cell that is able to drive hydrogen evolution from aqueous Na 2 S solution with a peak external quantum efficiency exceeding 100%. QD photoelectrodes that were measured all demonstrated MEG when the incident photon energy was larger than 2.7 times the bandgap energy. Our results demonstrate a new direction in exploring high-efficiency approaches to solar fuels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology