Colloidal quantum dot (CQD) photovoltaics combine low-cost solution processibility with quantum size-effect tunability to match absorption with the solar spectrum. Recent advances in CQD photovoltaics have led to 3.6% AM1.5 solar power conversion efficiencies. Here we report CQD photovoltaic devices on transparent conductive oxides and show that our devices rely on the establishment of a depletion region for field-driven charge transport and separation. The resultant depleted-heterojunction solar cells provide a 5.1% AM1.5 power conversion efficiency. The devices employ infrared-bandgap size-effect-tuned PbS colloidal quantum dots, enabling broadband harvesting of the solar spectrum. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.