Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Omar Manasreh

Committee Member

Simon Ang

Second Committee Member

Jingxian Wu

Third Committee Member

Jilai Li

Keywords

Applied sciences; Anti-reflection coatings; Gallium arsenide; Hydriphobicity; Nanomaterials; Plasmonic effect; Quantam dots

Abstract

Investigation of renewable energy resources is gaining huge momentum in recent years due to the limited fossil fuels, and their detriment impact on the environment. Solar energy is promising to meet the increased energy demand. In order to achieve this goal, solar energy has to be harvested efficiently at low cost. Therefore, higher efficiency solar cells are the primary focus of research worldwide. Photovoltaics based on InAs/GaAs intermediate band solar cells and their device performance enhancements are investigated in this dissertation. The device enhancement is carried out by surface modification methods. The dissertation work is inspired by the need of improved efficiency solar cells to meet the new energy demands. In this project, InAs/GaAs intermediate band solar cell and their device performance enhancement are investigated. The device enhancement is carried out though implementing surface modification by using plasmonic effect, anti-reflection coatings and self-cleaning surfaces. Single junction and quantum dots solar cells performance has been unsatisfying due to several optical losses especially high surface reflection. Hence, in this project, potential application of plasmonic effect and significant device performance enhancement implementing anti-reflection coating are studied experimentally. Significantly, GaAs based photovoltaics solar cells efficiencies were improved by 40 - 50 %. In addition, self-cleaning surfaces with contact angle above 156o has been achieved. This self-cleaning surface can ensure proper functionality of the anti-reflection coatings.

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