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1-dimensional zinc oxide nanomaterial growth and solar cell applications

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Zinc oxide (ZnO) has attracted much interest during last decades as a functional material. Furthermore, ZnO is a potential material for transparent conducting oxide material competing with indium tin oxide

Zinc oxide (ZnO) has attracted much interest during last decades as a functional material. Furthermore, ZnO is a potential material for transparent conducting oxide material competing with indium tin oxide (ITO), graphene, and carbon nanotube film. It has been known as a conductive material when doped with elements such as indium, gallium and aluminum. The solubility of those dopant elements in ZnO is still debatable; but, it is necessary to find alternative conducting materials when their form is film or nanostructure for display devices. This is a consequence of the ever increasing price of indium. In addition, a new generation solar cell (nanostructured or hybrid photovoltaics) requires compatible materials which are capable of free standing on substrates without seed or buffer layers and have the ability introduce electrons or holes pathway without blocking towards electrodes. The nanostructures for solar cells using inorganic materials such as silicon (Si), titanium oxide (TiO2), and ZnO have been an interesting topic for research in solar cell community in order to overcome the limitation of efficiency for organic solar cells. This dissertation is a study of the rational solution-based synthesis of 1-dimentional ZnO nanomaterial and its solar cell applications. These results have implications in cost effective and uniform nanomanufacturing for the next generation solar cells application by controlling growth condition and by doping transition metal element in solution.

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  • 2012

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Engineering III-N alloys and devices for photovoltaic progress

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The state of the solar industry has reached a point where significant advancements in efficiency will require new materials and device concepts. The material class broadly known as the III-N's

The state of the solar industry has reached a point where significant advancements in efficiency will require new materials and device concepts. The material class broadly known as the III-N's have a rich history as a commercially successful semiconductor. Since discovery in 2003 these materials have shown promise for the field of photovoltaic solar technologies. However, inherent material issues in crystal growth and the subsequent effects on device performance have hindered their development. This thesis explores new growth techniques for III-N materials in tandem with new device concepts that will either work around the previous hindrances or open pathways to device technologies with higher theoretical limits than much of current photovoltaics. These include a novel crystal growth reactor, efforts in production of better quality material at faster rates, and development of advanced photovoltaic devices: an inversion junction solar cell, material work for hot carrier solar cell, ground work for a selective carrier contact, and finally a refractory solar cell for operation at several hundred degrees Celsius.

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  • 2016