Matching Items (4)

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Theoretical characterization of zinc phthalocyanine and porphyrin analogs for organic solar cell absorption

Description

The absorption spectra of metal-centered phthalocyanines (MPc's) have been investigated since the early 1960's. With improved experimental techniques to characterize this class of molecules the band assignments have advanced. The

The absorption spectra of metal-centered phthalocyanines (MPc's) have been investigated since the early 1960's. With improved experimental techniques to characterize this class of molecules the band assignments have advanced. The characterization remains difficult with historic disagreements. A new push for characterization came with a wave of interest in using these molecules for absorption/donor molecules in organic photovoltaics. The use of zinc phthalocyanine (ZnPc) became of particular interest, in addition to novel research being done for azaporphyrin analogs of ZnPc.

A theoretical approach is taken to research the excited states of these molecules using time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT). Most theoretical results for the first excited state in ZnPc are in only limited agreement with experiment (errors near 0.1 eV or higher). This research investigates ZnPc and 10 additional porphyrin analogs. Excited-state properties are predicted for 8 of these molecules using ab initio computational methods and symmetry breaking for accurate time- dependent self-consistent optimization. Franck-Condon analysis is used to predict the Q-band absorption spectra for all 8 of these molecules. This is the first time that Franck-Condon analysis has been reported in absolute units for any of these molecules. The first excited-state energy for ZnPc is found to be the closest to experiment thus far using a range-separated meta-GGA hybrid functional. The theoretical results are used to find a trend in the novel design of new porphyrin analog molecules.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Simulating texture evolution and grain growth in metallic thin films

Description

Thin films of ever reducing thickness are used in a plethora of applications and their performance is highly dependent on their microstructure. Computer simulations could then play a vital role

Thin films of ever reducing thickness are used in a plethora of applications and their performance is highly dependent on their microstructure. Computer simulations could then play a vital role in predicting the microstructure of thin films as a function of processing conditions. FACET is one such software tool designed by our research group to model polycrystalline thin film growth, including texture evolution and grain growth of polycrystalline films in 2D. Several modifications to the original FACET code were done to enhance its usability and accuracy. Simulations of sputtered silver thin films are presented here with FACET 2.0 with qualitative and semi-quantitative comparisons with previously published experimental results. Comparisons of grain size, texture and film thickness between simulations and experiments are presented which describe growth modes due to various deposition factors like flux angle and substrate temperature. These simulations provide reasonable agreement with the experimental data over a diverse range of process parameters. Preliminary experiments in depositions of Silver films are also attempted with varying substrates and thickness in order to generate complementary experimental and simulation studies of microstructure evolution. Overall, based on the comparisons, FACET provides interesting insights into thin film growth processes, and the effects of various deposition conditions on thin film structure and microstructure. Lastly, simple molecular dynamics simulations of deposition on bi-crystals are attempted for gaining insight into texture based grain competition during film growth. These simulations predict texture based grain coarsening mechanisms like twinning and grain boundary migration that have been commonly reported in FCC films.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Synthesis and in situ environmental transmission electron microscopy investigations of ceria-based oxides for solid oxide fuel cell anodes

Description

The behavior of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cermet (ceramic-metal composite) anode under reaction conditions depends significantly on the structure, morphology and atomic scale interactions between the metal and

The behavior of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cermet (ceramic-metal composite) anode under reaction conditions depends significantly on the structure, morphology and atomic scale interactions between the metal and the ceramic components. In situ environmental transmission electron microscope (ETEM) is an important tool which not only allows us to perform the basic nanoscale characterization of the anode materials, but also to observe in real-time, the dynamic changes in the anode material under near-reaction conditions. The earlier part of this dissertation is focused on the synthesis and characterization of Pr- and Gd-doped cerium oxide anode materials. A novel spray drying set-up was designed and constructed for preparing nanoparticles of these mixed-oxides and nickel oxide for anode fabrication. X-ray powder diffraction was used to investigate the crystal structure and lattice parameters of the synthesized materials. Particle size distribution, morphology and chemical composition were investigated using transmission electron microscope (TEM). The nanoparticles were found to possess pit-like defects of average size 2 nm after subjecting the spray-dried material to heat treatment at 700 °C for 2 h in air. A novel electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) quantification technique for determining the Pr and Gd concentrations in the mixed oxides was developed. Nano-scale compositional heterogeneity was observed in these materials. The later part of the dissertation focuses mainly on in situ investigations of the anode materials under a H2 environment in the ETEM. Nano-scale changes in the stand-alone ceramic components of the cermet anode were first investigated. Particle size and composition of the individual nanoparticles of Pr-doped ceria (PDC) were found to affect their reducibility in H2 gas. Upon reduction, amorphization of the nanoparticles was observed and was linked to the presence of pit-like defects in the spray-dried material. Investigation of metal-ceramic interactions in the Ni-loaded PDC nanoparticles indicated a localized reduction of Ce in the vicinity of the Ni/PDC interface at 420 °C. Formation of a reduction zone around the interface was attributed to H spillover which was observed directly in the ETEM. Preliminary results on the fabrication of model SOFCs and in situ behavior of Ni/Gd-doped ceria anodes have been presented.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Optimization of ionic conductivity in doped ceria using density functional theory and kinetic lattice Monte Carlo

Description

Fuel cells, particularly solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), are important for the future of greener and more efficient energy sources. Although SOFCs have been in existence for over fifty years,

Fuel cells, particularly solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), are important for the future of greener and more efficient energy sources. Although SOFCs have been in existence for over fifty years, they have not been deployed extensively because they need to be operated at a high temperature (∼1000 °C), are expensive, and have slow response to changes in energy demands. One important need for commercialization of SOFCs is a lowering of their operating temperature, which requires an electrolyte that can operate at lower temperatures. Doped ceria is one such candidate. For this dissertation work I have studied different types of doped ceria to understand the mechanism of oxygen vacancy diffusion through the bulk. Doped ceria is important because they have high ionic conductivities thus making them attractive candidates for the electrolytes of solid oxide fuel cells. In particular, I have studied how the ionic conductivities are improved in these doped materials by studying the oxygen-vacancy formations and migrations. In this dissertation I describe the application of density functional theory (DFT) and Kinetic Lattice Monte Carlo (KLMC) simulations to calculate the vacancy diffusion and ionic conductivities in doped ceria. The dopants used are praseodymium (Pr), gadolinium (Gd), and neodymium (Nd), all belonging to the lanthanide series. The activation energies for vacancy migration between different nearest neighbor (relative to the dopant) positions were calculated using the commercial DFT code VASP (Vienna Ab-initio Simulation Package). These activation energies were then used as inputs to the KLMC code that I co-developed. The KLMC code was run for different temperatures (673 K to 1073 K) and for different dopant concentrations (0 to 40%). These simulations have resulted in the prediction of dopant concentrations for maximum ionic conductivity at a given temperature.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011