In heterostructures for nanophotovoltaic (NPV) devices, a number of layers are concatenated in a multilayer configuration. In the analysis of a multilayer configuration, it is commonly assumed that the intensity of the optical field has an exponential decrease along the direction of propagation inside the structure. Effects such as reflections and interference are neglected. These neglected effects become especially important ones once the layer dimension reaches several nanometers. At this width regimen, quantum effects are present since layers are thin compared with the penetration depth and the wavelength of the incident light. Quantum effects influence photon absorption and affect the optical field dissipation that controls electron-hole pairs generation. Hence, dissipation of the optical field inside an NPV device is an important aspect to consider in studying and determining performance properties. We employed the one-dimensional optical transfer matrix theory and the quantum well theory to analyze the optical field dissipation in the active layer of heterostructures for NPV devices. Illumination of air mass 1.5 global (AM 1.5G) standard was considered for the analysis. The study was extended to low-dimensional heterostructures of the binary compound CdS/CdSe/CdS, the ternary compound , and the quaternary compound .