Photoelectrochemical solar cells (PECs) have been constructed and studied, the cells comprising a photoanode prepared by direct deposition of independently synthesized nanocrystal quantum dots (NQDs) onto a nanocrystalline metal oxide film, aqueous electrolyte and a counter electrode. It has been shown that the light harvesting efficiency (LHE) of the NQD/metal oxide photoanode is significantly enhanced when the NQD surface passivation is changed to a smaller ligand (e.g. butylamine (BA)). In the PEC the use of NQDs with a shorter passivating ligand leads to a significant enhancement in both the electron injection efficiency at the NQD/metal oxide interface and charge collection efficiency at the NQD/electrolyte interface.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy and made under CRADA number LA11C10656 with the SHARP Corporation. The government has certain rights in the invention.