Nano Research

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 3031–3049 | Cite as

Exciton dissociation dynamics and light-driven H2 generation in colloidal 2D cadmium chalcogenide nanoplatelet heterostructures

  • Qiuyang Li
  • Tianquan LianEmail author
Review Article


Solar-to-H2 conversion is attracting much research attention as a potential approach to meet global renewable energy demands. Although significant advances have been made using metal-tipped colloidal cadmium chalcogenide zero-dimensional (0D) quantum dots and one-dimensional (1D) nanorod heterostructures in solar-to-H2 conversion, their efficiency may be further enhanced using an emerging class of colloidal cadmium chalcogenide nanocrystals, namely two-dimensional (2D) nanoplatelets (NPLs), because of their unique properties. In this review, we summarize the recent advances on exciton dissociation dynamics and light-driven H2 generation performance of colloidal nanoplatelet heterostructures. Following an introduction on the electronic structure of 2D NPLs, we discuss the dynamics of exciton dissociation by electron transfer to molecular acceptors. The exciton quenching dynamics of CdS NPL-Pt and CdSe NPL-Pt heterostructures are compared to highlight the effect of material properties on the relative contributions of the energy-transfer and electron-transfer pathways. Representative solar-to-H2 conversion performances of 2D NPL-metal heterostructures are discussed and compared with those of 1D nanorod-metal heterostructures. Finally, we discuss the challenges in further improving the solar-to-fuel conversion efficiencies of these systems.


colloidal nanoplatelets semiconductor-metal heterostructures exciton dissociation electron transfer hydrogen generation 


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This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Solar Photochemistry Program under Award Number (No. DE-FG02-12ER16347).


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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA

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