Atomic layer deposition was used to encapsulate colloidal quantum dot solar cells. A nanolaminate layer consisting of alternating alumina and zirconia films provided a robust gas permeation barrier which prevented device performance degradation over a period of multiple weeks. Unencapsulated cells stored in ambient and nitrogen environments demonstrated significant performance losses over the same period. The encapsulated cell also exhibited stable performance under constant simulated solar illumination without filtration of harsh ultraviolet photons. This monolithically integrated thin film encapsulation method is promising for roll-to-roll processed high efficiency nanocrystal solar cells. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.