Matching Items (64)

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Photocurrent enhancements of organic solar cells by altering dewetting of plasmonic Ag nanoparticles

Description

Incorporation of metal nanoparticles into active layers of organic solar cells is one of the promising light trapping approaches. The size of metal nanoparticles is one of key factors to

Incorporation of metal nanoparticles into active layers of organic solar cells is one of the promising light trapping approaches. The size of metal nanoparticles is one of key factors to strong light trapping, and the size of thermally evaporated metal nanoparticles can be tuned by either post heat treatment or surface modification of substrates. We deposited Ag nanoparticles on ITO by varying nominal thicknesses, and post annealing was carried out to increase their size in radius. PEDOT:PSS was employed onto the ITO substrates as a buffer layer to alter the dewetting behavior of Ag nanoparticles. The size of Ag nanoparticles on PEDOT:PSS were dramatically increased by more than three times compared to those on the ITO substrates. Organic solar cells were fabricated on the ITO and PEDOT:PSS coated ITO substrates with incorporation of those Ag nanoparticles, and their performances were compared. The photocurrents of the cells with the active layers on PEDOT:PSS with an optimal choice of the Ag nanoparticles were greatly enhanced whereas the Ag nanoparticles on the ITO substrates did not lead to the photocurrent enhancements. The origin of the photocurrent enhancements with introducing the Ag nanoparticles on PEDOT:PSS are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2015-09-21

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High quality transparent TiO2/Ag/TiO2 composite electrode films deposited on flexible substrate at room temperature by sputtering

Description

Multilayer structures of TiO[subscript 2]/Ag/TiO[subscript 2] have been deposited onto flexible substrates by room temperature sputtering to develop indium-free transparent composite electrodes. The effect of Ag thicknesses on optical and

Multilayer structures of TiO[subscript 2]/Ag/TiO[subscript 2] have been deposited onto flexible substrates by room temperature sputtering to develop indium-free transparent composite electrodes. The effect of Ag thicknesses on optical and electrical properties and the mechanism of conduction have been discussed. The critical thickness (t[subscript c]) of Ag mid-layer to form a continuous conducting layer is 9.5 nm and the multilayer has been optimized to obtain a sheet resistance of 5.7 Ω/sq and an average optical transmittance of 90% at 590 nm. The Haacke figure of merit (FOM) for t[subscript c] has one of the highest FOMs with 61.4 × 10[superscript −3] Ω[superscript −1]/sq.

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Date Created
  • 2013-06-07

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Novel Applications to Si Heterojunction Solar Cells

Description

Proposed and tested were three different methods to deposit important layers of Silicon heterojunction solar cells (SHJs). If there were a shortage of Silver, Aluminum could be substituted for the

Proposed and tested were three different methods to deposit important layers of Silicon heterojunction solar cells (SHJs). If there were a shortage of Silver, Aluminum could be substituted for the contacts. If there were a shortage of Indium, Yttrium Zinc Oxide could be substituted. To improve the solar cell, the p and n type layers can be grown with hydrogenated nanocrystallline Silicon (nc-Si:H). 40% and 50% nc-Si:H has shown a maximum absorbance reduction of 5 times compared to hydrogenated amorphous Silicon (a-Si). The substitutions offer alternatives which increase the total possible amount of solar cell production, advancing toward completion of the Terrawatt challenge.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Improved efficiency of P3HT: PCBM solar cells by incorporation of silver oxide interfacial layer

Description

In recent years, a substantial amount of research has been focused on identifying suitable interfacial layers in organic light-emitting diodes and organic solar cells which has efficient charge transport properties.

In recent years, a substantial amount of research has been focused on identifying suitable interfacial layers in organic light-emitting diodes and organic solar cells which has efficient charge transport properties. In this work, a very thin layer of AgOx is deposited on top of the ITO layer along with PEDOT:PSS and is observed that the solar cells having the AgOx interfacial layer showed a 28% increase in power conversion efficiency in comparison to that of the control cell. The enhancement in efficiency has been ascribed to improvements in fill factor as well as the increase in shunt resistance and decrease in the series resistance of the solar cells. An equivalent circuit model is also provided to understand the changes in the series and shunt resistances in the AgOx modified devices.

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Date Created
  • 2014-07-28

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Structural and optical properties of Ag-doped copper oxide thin films on polyethylene napthalate substrate prepared by low temperature microwave annealing

Description

Silver doped cupric oxide thin films are prepared on polyethylene naphthalate (flexible polymer) substrates. Thin films Ag-doped CuO are deposited on the substrate by co-sputtering followed by microwave assisted oxidation

Silver doped cupric oxide thin films are prepared on polyethylene naphthalate (flexible polymer) substrates. Thin films Ag-doped CuO are deposited on the substrate by co-sputtering followed by microwave assisted oxidation of the metal films. The low temperature tolerance of the polymer substrates led to the search for innovative low temperature processing techniques. Cupric oxide is a p-type semiconductor with an indirect band gap and is used as selective absorption layer solar cells. X-ray diffraction identifies the CuO phases. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry measurements confirm the stoichiometry of each copper oxide formed. The surface morphology is determined by atomic force microscopy. The microstructural properties such as crystallite size and the microstrain for (−111) and (111) planes are calculated and discussed. Incorporation of Ag led to the lowering of band gap in CuO. Consequently, it is determined that Ag addition has a strong effect on the structural, morphological, surface, and optical properties of CuO grown on flexible substrates by microwave annealing. Tauc's plot is used to determine the optical band gap of CuO and Ag doped CuO films. The values of the indirect and direct band gap for CuO are found to be 2.02 eV and 3.19 eV, respectively.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Protein Crystallization in Unit Gravity and Microgravity Environments: Challenges and Opportunities

Description

Protein crystallization is a technique for the formation of three-dimensional protein crystals, which is widely utilized by scientists, engineers, and researchers. Protein crystallography allows for protein structures and functions to

Protein crystallization is a technique for the formation of three-dimensional protein crystals, which is widely utilized by scientists, engineers, and researchers. Protein crystallography allows for protein structures and functions to be studied. As proteins play a central role in biological systems and life itself, a deeper understanding of their structure-function properties is crucial to elucidating fundamental behaviors, such as protein folding in addition to the role that they play in emerging fields, such as, tissue engineering with application to the emerging field of regenerative medicine. However, a significant limitation toward achieving further advancements in this field is that in order to determine detailed structure of proteins from protein crystals, high-quality and larger size protein crystals are needed. Because it is difficult to produce adequate size, high-quality crystals, it remains difficult to determine the structure of many proteins. However, a new method using a microgravity environment to crystallize proteins has proven effective through various studies conducted on the International Space Station (ISS). In the presence of microgravity, free convection is essentially absent in the bulk solution where crystallization occurs, thus allowing for purely random Brownian motion to exist which favors the nucleation and growth of high-quality protein crystals. Many studies from the ISS to date have demonstrated that growing protein crystals in a microgravity environment produces larger and higher-quality crystals. This method provides new opportunities for better structure identification and analysis of proteins. Although there remains many more limitations and challenges in the field, microgravity protein crystallization holds many opportunities for the future of biotechnology and scientific development. The objective of this thesis was to study the crystallization of hen egg white lysozyme (HEWL) and determine the effects of both unit and microgravity on growth/size and quality of HEWL. Through preliminary trials using a universal ground-based reduced-gravity system, the crystallization of HEWL in a simulated microgravity environment was successfully conducted and the results reported are promising. The utility of continuous, scalable ground-based, microgravity platforms for studies on a wide range of material systems and behavior, such as, protein crystallization, has significant implications regarding its impact on many industries, including drug development as well as regenerative medicine.

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Date Created
  • 2020-12

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Novel Gas Sensor Solutions for Air Quality Monitoring

Description

Global industrialization and urbanization have led to increased levels of air pollution. The costs to society have come in the form of environmental damage, healthcare expenses, lost productivity, and premature

Global industrialization and urbanization have led to increased levels of air pollution. The costs to society have come in the form of environmental damage, healthcare expenses, lost productivity, and premature mortality. Measuring pollutants is an important task for identifying its sources, warning individuals about dangerous exposure levels, and providing epidemiologists with data to link pollutants with diseases. Current methods for monitoring air pollution are inadequate though. They rely on expensive, complex instrumentation at limited fixed monitoring sites that do not capture the true spatial and temporal variation. Furthermore, the fixed outdoor monitoring sites cannot warn individuals about indoor air quality or exposure to chemicals at worksites. Recent advances in manufacturing and computing technology have allowed new classes of low-cost miniature gas sensor to emerge as possible alternatives. For these to be successful however, there must be innovations in the sensors themselves that improve reliability, operation, and their stability and selectivity in real environments. Three novel gas sensor solutions are presented. The first is the development of a wearable personal exposure monitor using all commercially available components, including two metal oxide semiconductor gas sensors. The device monitors known asthma triggers: ozone, total volatile organic compounds, temperature, humidity, and activity level. Primary focus is placed on the ozone sensor, which requires special circuits, heating algorithm, and calibration to remove temperature and humidity interferences. Eight devices are tested in multiple field tests. The second is the creation of a new compact optoelectronic gas sensing platform using colorimetric microdroplets printed on the surface of a complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) imager. The nonvolatile liquid microdroplets provide a homogeneous, uniform environment that is ideal for colorimetric reactions and lensless optical measurements. To demonstrate one type of possible indicating system gaseous ammonia is detected by complexation with Cu(II). The third project continues work on the CMOS imager optoelectronic platform and develops a more robust sensing system utilizing hydrophobic aerogel particles. Ammonia is detected colorimetrically by its reaction with a molecular dye, with additives and surface treatments enhancing uniformity of the printed films. Future work presented at the end describes a new biological particle sensing system using the CMOS imager.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells with Plated Copper Electrodes

Description

An ongoing effort in the photovoltaic (PV) industry is to reduce the major manufacturing cost components of solar cells, the great majority of which are based on crystalline silicon (c-Si).

An ongoing effort in the photovoltaic (PV) industry is to reduce the major manufacturing cost components of solar cells, the great majority of which are based on crystalline silicon (c-Si). This includes the substitution of screenprinted silver (Ag) cell contacts with alternative copper (Cu)-based contacts, usually applied with plating. Plated Cu contact schemes have been under study for many years with only minor traction in industrial production. One of the more commonly-cited barriers to the adoption of Cu-based contacts for photovoltaics is long-term reliability, as Cu is a significant contaminant in c-Si, forming precipitates that degrade performance via degradation of diode character and reduction of minority carrier lifetime. Cu contamination from contacts might cause degradation during field deployment if Cu is able to ingress into c-Si. Furthermore, Cu contamination is also known to cause a form of light-induced degradation (LID) which further degrades carrier lifetime when cells are exposed to light.

Prior literature on Cu-contact reliability tended to focus on accelerated testing at the cell and wafer level that may not be entirely replicative of real-world environmental stresses in PV modules. This thesis is aimed at advancing the understanding of Cu-contact reliability from the perspective of quasi-commercial modules under more realistic stresses. In this thesis, c-Si solar cells with Cu-plated contacts are fabricated, made into PV modules, and subjected to environmental stress in an attempt to induce hypothesized failure modes and understand any new vulnerabilities that Cu contacts might introduce. In particular, damp heat stress is applied to conventional, p-type c-Si modules and high efficiency, n-type c-Si heterojunction modules. I present evidence of Cu-induced diode degradation that also depends on PV module materials, as well as degradation unrelated to Cu, and in either case suggest engineering solutions to the observed degradation. In a forensic search for degradation mechanisms, I present novel evidence of Cu outdiffusion from contact layers and encapsulant-driven contact corrosion as potential key factors. Finally, outdoor exposures to light uncover peculiarities in Cu-plated samples, but do not point to especially serious vulnerabilities.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Feasibility of investigating mineralization processes under simulated microgravity free convectionless conditions in unit gravity environment with implication on bone mineral density

Description

The overall goal of this research project was to assess the feasibility of investigating the effects of microgravity on mineralization systems in unit gravity environments. If possible to perform these

The overall goal of this research project was to assess the feasibility of investigating the effects of microgravity on mineralization systems in unit gravity environments. If possible to perform these studies in unit gravity earth environments, such as earth, such systems can offer markedly less costly and more concerted research efforts to study these vitally important systems. Expected outcomes from easily accessible test environments and more tractable studies include the development of more advanced and adaptive material systems, including biological systems, particularly as humans ponder human exploration in deep space. The specific focus of the research was the design and development of a prototypical experimental test system that could preliminarily meet the challenging design specifications required of such test systems. Guided by a more unified theoretical foundation and building upon concept design and development heuristics, assessment of the feasibility of two experimental test systems was explored. Test System I was a rotating wall reactor experimental system that closely followed the specifications of a similar test system, Synthecon, designed by NASA contractors and thus closely mimicked microgravity conditions of the space shuttle and station. The latter includes terminal velocity conditions experienced by both innate material systems, as well as, biological systems, including living tissue and humans but has the ability to extend to include those material test systems associated with mineralization processes. Test System II is comprised of a unique vertical column design that offered more easily controlled fluid mechanical test conditions over a much wider flow regime that was necessary to achieving terminal velocities under free convection-less conditions that are important in mineralization processes. Preliminary results indicate that Test System II offers distinct advantages in studying microgravity effects in test systems operating in unit gravity environments and particularly when investigating mineralization and related processes. Verification of the Test System II was performed on validating microgravity effects on calcite mineralization processes reported earlier others. There studies were conducted on calcite mineralization in fixed-wing, reduced gravity aircraft, known as the `vomit comet' where reduced gravity conditions are include for very short (~20second) time periods. Preliminary results indicate that test systems, such as test system II, can be devised to assess microgravity conditions in unit gravity environments, such as earth. Furthermore, the preliminary data obtained on calcite formation suggest that strictly physicochemical mechanisms may be the dominant factors that control adaptation in materials processes, a theory first proposed by Liu et al. Thus the result of this study may also help shine a light on the problem of early osteoporosis in astronauts and long term interest in deep space exploration.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Luminescent cyclometalated platinum and palladium complexes with novel photophysical properties

Description

Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) is a rapidly emerging technology based on organic thin film semiconductors. Recently, there has been substantial investment in their use in displays. In less than

Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) is a rapidly emerging technology based on organic thin film semiconductors. Recently, there has been substantial investment in their use in displays. In less than a decade, OLEDs have grown from a promising academic curiosity into a multi-billion dollar global industry. At the heart of an OLED are emissive molecules that generate light in response to electrical stimulation. Ideal emitters are efficient, compatible with existing materials, long lived, and produce light predominantly at useful wavelengths. Developing an understanding of the photophysical processes that dictate the luminescent properties of emissive materials is vital to their continued development. Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 provide an introduction to the topics presented and the laboratory methods used to explore them. Chapter 3 discusses a series of tridentate platinum complexes. A synthetic method utilizing microwave irradiation was explored, as well as a study of the effects ligand structure had on the excited state properties. Results and techniques developed in this endeavor were used as a foundation for the work undertaken in later chapters. Chapter 4 introduces a series of tetradentate platinum complexes that share a phenoxy-pyridyl (popy) motif. The new molecular design improved efficiency through increased rigidity and modification of the excited state properties. This class of platinum complexes were markedly more efficient than those presented in Chapter 3, and devices employing a green emitting complex of the series achieved nearly 100% electron-to-photon conversion efficiency in an OLED device. Chapter 5 adapts the ligand structure developed in Chapter 4 to palladium. The resulting complexes exceed reported efficiencies of palladium complexes by an order of magnitude. This chapter also provides the first report of a palladium complex as an emitter in an OLED device. Chapter 6 discusses the continuation of development efforts to include carbazolyl components in the ligand. These complexes possess interesting luminescent properties including ultra-narrow emission and metal assisted delayed fluorescence (MADF) emission.

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Date Created
  • 2014