Investigating Photoinduced Charge Transfer in Carbon Nanotube−Perylene−Quantum Dot Hybrid Nanocomposites

In this study, we investigate photophysical and photoinduced current responses of a nanocomposite which consists of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs), thiol derivative perylene compound (ETPTCDI), and cadmium selenide quantum dots (QDs). These QDs as well as the ETPTCDI harvest photons and transfer their excited electrons or holes to CNTs to complete the circuit. Both QDs and ETPTCDI contribute charges to the carbon nanotubes, which increased the overall photon harvest efficiency of the nanocomposite. Herein, we investigate through a series of photophysical photoluminescence quenching studies the charge transfer between donors (QDs and ETPTCDI) and acceptor (CNTs). The incorporation of ETPTCDI into the nanocomposite significantly increases the adhesion between QDs and CNTs through bonding between QDs and thiol groups on ETPTCDI and π−π interactions between ETPTCDI and CNTs. Thus, ETPTCDI acted as a molecular linker between QDs and CNTs. Furthermore, a significant increase (>5 times) in the Stern−Volmer constant, <i>K</i><sub>sv</sub>, for QD emission after addition of ETPTCDI-tagged CNTs clearly indicates a large enhancement in the adhesion between CNTs and QDs. The nanocomposite shows a ∼2−4-fold increase in the photoconductivity when exposed to AM1.5 solar-simulated light. The damage to the nanocomposite from the intensity of the solar-simulated light is also investigated. The proposed nanocomposite has the potential for photovoltaic applications such as being the active component in a hybrid bulk heterojunction solar cell.