Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Omar Manasreh

Committee Member

Simon Ang

Second Committee Member

Scott Smith

Abstract

Synthesis of InP/ZnS core/shell nanocrystals and TiO2 nanotubes and the optimization study to couple them together were explored for quantum dot sensitized solar cells. Its intrinsic nontoxicity makes the direct band gap InP/ZnS core/shell be one of the most promising semiconductor nanocrystals for optoelectric applications, with the advantage of tuning the optical absorption range in the desired solar spectrum region. Highly luminescent and monodisperse InP/ZnS nanocrystals were synthesized in a non-coordinating solvent. By varying the synthesis scheme, different size InP/ZnS nanocrystals with emission peaks ranging from 520 nm to 620 nm were grown. For the purpose of ensuring air stability, a ZnS shell was grown. The ZnS shell improves the chemical stability in terms of oxidation prevention. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image shows that the nanocrystals are highly crystalline and monodisperse.

Free-standing TiO2 nanotubes were produced by an anodization method using ammonium fluoride. The free-standing nanotubes were formed under the condition that the chemical dissolution speed associated with fluoride concentration was faster than the speed of Ti oxidation. Highly ordered free-standing anatase form TiO2 nanotubes, which are transformed by annealing at the optimized temperature, are expected to be ideal for coupling with the prepared InP/ZnS nanocrystals.

Electrophoretic deposition was carried out to couple the InP/ZnS nanocrystals with the TiO2 nanotubes. Under the adjusted applied voltage condition, the current during the electrophoretic deposition decreased continuously with time. The amount of the deposited nanocrystals was estimated by calculation and the evenly deposited nanocrystals on the TiO2 nanotubes were observed by TEM.

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