Matching Items (5)

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Inorganic and Organic Photovoltaic Materials for Powering Electrochromic Systems

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ABSTRACT

Autonomous smart windows may be integrated with a stack of active components, such as electrochromic devices, to modulate the opacity/transparency by an applied voltage. Here, we describe the processing

ABSTRACT

Autonomous smart windows may be integrated with a stack of active components, such as electrochromic devices, to modulate the opacity/transparency by an applied voltage. Here, we describe the processing and performance of two classes of visibly-transparent photovoltaic materials, namely inorganic (ZnO thin film) and fully organic (PCDTBT:PC70BM), for integration with electrochromic stacks.

Sputtered ZnO (2% Mn) films on ITO, with transparency in the visible range, were used to fabricate metal-semiconductor (MS), metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS), and p-i-n heterojunction devices, and their photovoltaic conversion under ultraviolet (UV) illumination was evaluated with and without oxygen plasma-treated surface electrodes (Au, Ag, Al, and Ti/Ag). The MS Schottky parameters were fitted against the generalized Bardeen model to obtain the density of interface states (Dit ≈ 8.0×1011 eV−1cm−2) and neutral level (Eo ≈ -5.2 eV). These devices exhibited photoconductive behavior at λ = 365 nm, and low-noise Ag-ZnO detectors exhibited responsivity (R) and photoconductive gain (G) of 1.93×10−4 A/W and 6.57×10−4, respectively. Confirmed via matched-pair analysis, post-metallization, oxygen plasma treatment of Ag and Ti/Ag electrodes resulted in increased Schottky barrier heights, which maximized with a 2 nm SiO2 electron blocking layer (EBL), coupled with the suppression of recombination at the metal/semiconductor interface and blocking of majority carriers. For interdigitated devices under monochromatic UV-C illumination, the open-circuit voltage (Voc) was 1.2 V and short circuit current density (Jsc), due to minority carrier tunneling, was 0.68 mA/cm2.

A fully organic bulk heterojunction photovoltaic device, composed of poly[N-9’-heptadecanyl-2,7-carbazole-alt-5,5-(4’,7’-di-2-thienyli2’,1’,3’-benzothiadiazole)]:phenyl-C71-butyric-acidmethyl (PCDTBT:PC70BM), with corresponding electron and hole transport layers, i.e., LiF with Al contact and conducting
on-conducting (nc) PEDOT:PSS (with ITO/PET or Ag nanowire/PDMS contacts; the illuminating side), respectively, was developed. The PCDTBT/PC70BM/PEDOT:PSS(nc)/ITO/PET stack exhibited the highest performance: power conversion efficiency (PCE) ≈ 3%, Voc = 0.9V, and Jsc ≈ 10-15 mA/cm2. These stacks exhibited high visible range transparency, and provided the requisite power for a switchable electrochromic stack having an inkjet-printed, optically-active layer of tungsten trioxide (WO3), peroxo-tungstic acid dihydrate, and titania (TiO2) nano-particle-based blend. The electrochromic stacks (i.e., PET/ITO/LiClO4/WO3 on ITO/PET and Ag nanowire/PDMS substrates) exhibited optical switching under external bias from the PV stack (or an electrical outlet), with 7 s coloration time, 8 s bleaching time, and 0.36-0.75 optical modulation at λ = 525 nm. The devices were paired using an Internet of Things controller that enabled wireless switching.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Synthesis and functionalization of zinc oxide nanowires

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Zinc oxide nanowires ( NWs) have broad applications in various fields such as nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, piezoelectric nanogenerators, chemical/biological sensors, and heterogeneous catalysis. To meet the requirements for broader applications, the

Zinc oxide nanowires ( NWs) have broad applications in various fields such as nanoelectronics, optoelectronics, piezoelectric nanogenerators, chemical/biological sensors, and heterogeneous catalysis. To meet the requirements for broader applications, the growth of high-quality ZnO NWs and functionalization of ZnO NWs are critical. In this work, specific types of functionalized ZnO NWs have been synthesized and correlations between specific structures and properties have been investigated. Deposition of δ-Bi2O3 (narrow band gap) epilayers onto ZnO (wide band gap) NWs improves the absorption efficiency of the visible light spectrum by 70%. Furthermore, the deposited δ-Bi2O3 grows selectively and epitaxially on the {11-20} but not on the {10-10} facets of the ZnO NWs. The selective epitaxial deposition and the interfacial structure were thoroughly investigated. The morphology and structure of the Bi2O3/ZnO nanocomposites can be tuned by controlling the deposition conditions.

Various deposition methods, both physical and chemical, were used to functionalize the ZnO NWs with metal or alloy nanoparticles (NPs) for catalytic transformations of important molecules which are relevant to energy and environment. Cu and PdZn NPs were epitaxially grown on ZnO NWs to make them resistant to sintering at elevated temperatures and thus improved the stability of such catalytic systems for methanol steam reforming (MSR) to produce hydrogen. A series of Pd/ZnO catalysts with different Pd loadings were synthesized and tested for MSR reaction. The CO selectivity was found to be strongly dependent on the size of the Pd: Both PdZn alloy and single Pd atoms yield low CO selectivity while Pd clusters give the highest CO selectivity.

By dispersing single Pd atoms onto ZnO NWs, Pd1/ZnO single-atom catalysts (SACs) was synthesized and their catalytic performance was evaluated for selected catalytic reactions. The experimental results show that the Pd1/ZnO SAC is active for CO oxidation and MSR but is not desirable other reactions. We further synthesized ZnO NWs supported noble metal (M1/ZnO; M=Rh, Pd, Pt, Ir) SACs and studied their catalytic performances for CO oxidation. The catalytic test data shows that all the fabricated noble metal SACs are active for CO oxidation but their activity are significantly different. Structure-performance relationships were investigated.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Synthesis, characterization, and application of hollow carbon nanostructures

Description

This dissertation describes fundamental studies of hollow carbon nanostructures, which may be used as electrodes for practical energy storage applications such as batteries or supercapacitors. Electron microscopy is heavily utilized

This dissertation describes fundamental studies of hollow carbon nanostructures, which may be used as electrodes for practical energy storage applications such as batteries or supercapacitors. Electron microscopy is heavily utilized for the nanoscale characterization. To control the morphology of hollow carbon nanostructures, ZnO nanowires serve as sacrificial templates. The first part of this dissertation focuses on the optimization of synthesis parameters and the scale-up production of ZnO nanowires by vapor transport method. Uniform ZnO nanowires with 40 nm width can be produced by using 1100 °C reaction temperature and 20 sccm oxygen flow rate, which are the two most important parameters.

The use of ethanol as carbon source with or without water steam provides uniform carbonaceous deposition on ZnO nanowire templates. The amount of as-deposited carbonaceous material can be controlled by reaction temperature and reaction time. Due to the catalytic property of ZnO surface, the thicknesses of carbonaceous layers are typically in nanometers. Different methods to remove the ZnO templates are explored, of which hydrogen reduction at temperatures higher than 700 °C is most efficient. The ZnO templates can also be removed under ethanol environment, but the temperatures need to be higher than 850 °C for practical use.

Characterizations of hollow carbon nanofibers show that the hollow carbon nanostructures have a high specific surface area (>1100 m2/g) with the presence of mesopores (~3.5 nm). The initial data on energy storage as electrodes of electrochemical double layer capacitors show that high specific capacitance (> 220 F/g) can be obtained, which is related to the high surface area and unique porous hollow structure with a thin wall.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Investigation of the evolution of conduction mechanism in metal on transparent conductive oxides thin film system

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This thesis discusses the evolution of conduction mechanism in the silver (Ag) on zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film system with respect to the Ag morphology. As a plausible substitute for

This thesis discusses the evolution of conduction mechanism in the silver (Ag) on zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film system with respect to the Ag morphology. As a plausible substitute for indium tin oxide (ITO), TCO/Metal/TCO (TMT) structure has received a lot of attentions as a prospective ITO substitute due to its low resistivity and desirable transmittance. However, the detailed conduction mechanism is not fully understood. In an attempt to investigate the conduction mechanism of the ZnO/Ag/ZnO thin film system with respect to the Ag microstructure, the top ZnO layer is removed, which offers a better view of Ag morphology by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). With 2 nm thick Ag layer, it is seen that the Ag forms discrete islands with small islands size (r), but large separation (s); also the effective resistivity of the system is extremely high. This regime is designated as dielectric zone. In this regime, thermionic emission and activated tunneling conduction mechanisms are considered. Based on simulations, when "s" was beyond 6 nm, thermionic emission dominates; with "s" less than 6 nm, activated tunneling is the dominating mechanism. As the Ag thickness increases, the individual islands coalesce and Ag clusters are formed. At certain Ag thickness, there are one or several Ag clusters that percolate the ZnO film, and the effective resistivity of the system exhibits a tremendous drop simultaneously, because the conducting electrons do not need to overcome huge ZnO barrier to transport. This is recognized as percolation zone. As the Ag thickness grows, Ag film becomes more continuous and there are no individual islands left on the surface. The effective resistivity decreases and is comparable to the characteristics of metallic materials, so this regime is categorized as metallic zone. The simulation of the Ag thin film resistivity is performed in terms of Ag thickness, and the experimental data fits the simulation well, which supports the proposed models. Hall measurement and four point probe measurement are carried out to characterize the electrical properties of the thin film system.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Optical properties of wurtzite semiconductors studied using cathodoluminescence imaging and spectroscopy

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The work contained in this dissertation is focused on the optical properties of direct band gap semiconductors which crystallize in a wurtzite structure: more specifically, the III-nitrides and ZnO. By

The work contained in this dissertation is focused on the optical properties of direct band gap semiconductors which crystallize in a wurtzite structure: more specifically, the III-nitrides and ZnO. By using cathodoluminescence spectroscopy, many of their properties have been investigated, including band gaps, defect energy levels, carrier lifetimes, strain states, exciton binding energies, and effects of electron irradiation on luminescence. Part of this work is focused on p-type Mg-doped GaN and InGaN. These materials are extremely important for the fabrication of visible light emitting diodes and diode lasers and their complex nature is currently not entirely understood. The luminescence of Mg-doped GaN films has been correlated with electrical and structural measurements in order to understand the behavior of hydrogen in the material. Deeply-bound excitons emitting near 3.37 and 3.42 eV are observed in films with a significant hydrogen concentration during cathodoluminescence at liquid helium temperatures. These radiative transitions are unstable during electron irradiation. Our observations suggest a hydrogen-related nature, as opposed to a previous assignment of stacking fault luminescence. The intensity of the 3.37 eV transition can be correlated with the electrical activation of the Mg acceptors. Next, the acceptor energy level of Mg in InGaN is shown to decrease significantly with an increase in the indium composition. This also corresponds to a decrease in the resistivity of these films. In addition, the hole concentration in multiple quantum well light emitting diode structures is much more uniform in the active region when Mg-doped InGaN (instead of Mg-doped GaN) is used. These results will help improve the efficiency of light emitting diodes, especially in the green/yellow color range. Also, the improved hole transport may prove to be important for the development of photovoltaic devices. Cathodoluminescence studies have also been performed on nanoindented ZnO crystals. Bulk, single crystal ZnO was indented using a sub-micron spherical diamond tip on various surface orientations. The resistance to deformation (the "hardness") of each surface orientation was measured, with the c-plane being the most resistive. This is due to the orientation of the easy glide planes, the c-planes, being positioned perpendicularly to the applied load. The a-plane oriented crystal is the least resistive to deformation. Cathodoluminescence imaging allows for the correlation of the luminescence with the regions located near the indentation. Sub-nanometer shifts in the band edge emission have been assigned to residual strain the crystals. The a- and m-plane oriented crystals show two-fold symmetry with regions of compressive and tensile strain located parallel and perpendicular to the ±c-directions, respectively. The c-plane oriented crystal shows six-fold symmetry with regions of tensile strain extending along the six equivalent a-directions.

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Date Created
  • 2013