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Carbon Nanostructure Based Donor-acceptor Systems for Solar Energy Harvesting

Description: Carbon nanostructure based functional hybrid molecules hold promise in solarenergy harvesting. Research presented in this dissertation systematically investigates building of various donor-acceptor nanohybrid systems utilizing enriched single walled carbon nanotube and graphene with redox and photoactive molecules such as fullerene, porphyrin, and phthalocyanine. Design, synthesis, and characterization of the donor-acceptor hybrid systems have been carefully performed via supramolecular binding strategies. Various spectroscopic studies have provided ample information in terms of establishment of the formation of donor-acceptor hybrids and their extent of interaction in solution and eventual rate of photoinduced electron and/or energy transfer. Electrochemical studies enabled construction of energy level diagram revealing energetic details of the possible different photochemical events supported by computational studies carried out to establish the HOMO-LUMO levels in the donor acceptor systems. Transient absorption studies confirmed formation of charge separated species in the donor-acceptor systems which have been supported by electron mediation experiments. Based on the photoelectrochemical studies, IPCE of 8% was reported for enriched SWCNT(7,6)-ZnP donor-acceptor systems. In summary, the present investigation on the various nanocarbon sensitized donor-acceptor hybrids substantiates tremendous prospect, that could very well become the next generation of materials in building efficient solar energy harvesting devices andphotocatalyst.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Das, Sushanta Kumar

Determination of Molecular Descriptors for Illegal Drugs by Gc-fid Using Abraham Solvation Model

Description: The Abraham solvation parameter model is a good approach for analyzing and predicting biological activities and partitioning coefficients. The general solvation equation has been used to predict the solute property (SP) behavior of drug compounds between biological barriers. Gas chromatography (GC) retention time can be used to predict molecular descriptors, such as E, S, A, B & L for existing and newly developed drug compounds. In this research, six columns of different stationary phases were used to predict the Abraham molecular descriptors more accurately. The six stationary phases used were 5% phenylmethyl polysiloxane, 6% cyanopropylphenyl 94% dimethylpolysiloxane, 5% diphenyl 95% dimethylpolysiloxane, 100% dimethylpolysiloxane, polyethylene glycol and 35% diphenyl 65% dimethylpolysiloxane. Retention times (RT) of 75 compounds have been measured and logarithm of experimental average retention time Ln(RTexp) are calculated. The Abraham solvation model is then applied to predict the process coefficients of these compounds using the literature values of the molecular descriptors (Acree Compilation descriptors). Six correlation equations are built up as a training set for each of the six columns. The six equations are then used to predict the molecular descriptors of the illegal drugs as a test set. This work shows the ability to extract molecular information from a new compound by utilizing commonly used GC columns available with the desired stationary phases. One can simply run the new compound in GC using these columns to get the retention time. Plugging in the retention time into the developed equations for each of the column will predict the molecular descriptors for the test compound and will give some information about the properties of the compound.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Akhter, Syeda Sabrina

Electrochemical Depostion of Bismuth on Ruthenium and Ruthenium Oxide Surfaces

Description: Cyclic voltammetry experiments were performed to compare the electrodeposition characteristics of bismuth on ruthenium. Two types of electrodes were used for comparison: a Ru shot electrode (polycrystalline) and a thin film of radio-frequency sputtered Ru on a Ti/Si(100) support. Experiments were performed in 1mM Bi(NO3)3/0.5M H2SO4 with switching potentials between -0.25 and 0.55V (vs. KCl sat. Ag/AgCl) and a 20mV/s scan rate. Grazing incidence x-ray diffraction (GIXRD) determined the freshly prepared thin film electrode was hexagonally close-packed. After thermally oxidizing at 600°C for 20 minutes, the thin film adopts the tetragonal structure consistent with RuO2. a hydrated oxide film (RuOx?(H2O)y) was made by holding 1.3V on the surface of the film in H2SO4 for 60 seconds and was determined to be amorphous. Underpotential deposition of Bi was observed on the metallic surfaces and the electrochemically oxidized surface; it was not observed on the thermal oxide.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Taylor, Daniel M.

Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance Study Of Bismuth Underpotential Deposition On Ruthenium And On Electrochemically Formed Ruthenium Oxide

Description: Kinetics and thermodynamics of bismuth (Bi) underpotential deposition (UPD) on ruthenium (Ru) and on electrochemically formed Ru oxide are studied using electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance technique. The Bi UPD and Bi bulk deposition are observed both on Ru and on electrochemically formed Ru oxide electrodes. The anodic peak potential of Bi UPD shifts slightly to positive potential as the scan rate increases. The peak current ratio (IAnode/ICathode) of Bi UPD and Bi bulk increases as the scan rate increases. Bi monolayer coverage calculated from mass (MLMass) and from charge (MLCharge) with scan rates dependent are compared both in Bi UPD region and in Bi bulk region. Stability and oxidation time effects are also investigated. Bi UPD on Ru and on electrochemically formed Ru oxide are quasi-reversible, scan rate independent, oxidation time dependent, and have higher plating efficiency on Ru. However, Bi bulk deposition on Ru and on electrochemically formed Ru oxide are quasi-reversible, scan rate dependent, oxidation time independent, and have higher plating efficiency on electrochemically formed Ru oxide. Both Bi UPD adatoms and Bi bulk are unstable in 0.5M H2SO4.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Lin, Po-Fu

Incorporating Electrochemistry and X-ray Diffraction Experiments Into an Undergraduate Instrumental Analysis Course

Description: Experiments were designed for an undergraduate instrumental analysis laboratory course, two in X-ray diffraction and two in electrochemistry. Those techniques were chosen due their underrepresentation in the Journal of Chemical Education. Paint samples (experiment 1) and pennies (experiment 2) were characterized using x-ray diffraction to teach students how to identify different metals and compounds in a sample. in the third experiment, copper from a penny was used to perform stripping analyses at different deposition times. As the deposition time increases, the current of the stripping peak also increases. the area under the stripping peak gives the number of coulombs passed, which allows students to calculate the mass of copper deposited on the electrode surface. the fourth experiment was on the effects of variable scan rates on a chemical system. This type of experiment gives valuable mechanistic information about the chemical system being studied.
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Date: May 2012
Creator: Molina, Cathy

Interfacial Characterization of Chemical Vapor Deposition (Cvd) Grown Graphene and Electrodeposited Bismuth on Ruthenium Surface

Description: Graphene receives enormous attention owing to its distinctive physical and chemical prosperities. Growing and transferring graphene to different substrates have been investigated. The graphene growing on the copper substrate has an advantage of low solubility of carbon on the copper which allow us to grow mostly monolayer graphene. Graphene sheet of few centimeters can be transferred to 300nm silicon oxide and quartz crystal pre-deposited with metal like Cu and Ru. Characterization of the graphene has been done with Raman and contact angle measurement and recently quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) has been employed. The underpotential deposition (UPD) process of Bi on Ru metal surface is studied using electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance (EQCM) and XPS techniques. Both Bi UPD and Bi bulk deposition are clearly observed on Ru in 1mM Bi (NO3)3/0.5M H2SO4. Bi monolayer coverage calculated from mass (MLMass) and from charge (MLCharge) were compared with respect to the potential scanning rates, anions and ambient controls. EQCM results indicate that Bi UPD on Ru is mostly scan rate independent but exhibits interesting difference at the slower scan. Bi UPD monolayer coverage calculated from cathodic frequency change (ΔfCathodic) is significantly smaller than the monolayer coverage derived from integrated charge under the cathodic Bi UPD peak when scan rate is at least 5 mV/s. XPS is utilized to explore the detailed chemical composition of the observed interfacial process of Bi UPD on Ru.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Abdelghani, Jafar

Studies on the Porphyrin and Phthalocyanine Modified on Sno2 Photoelectrochemical Cells

Description: The world is facing a tough challenge regarding fulfilling human energy needs. Scientists are motivated to find alternative ways to the fossil fuel at a lower cost with little or no environmental pollution. Among the available renewable resources, the solar energy is an alternative energy to fossil fuel. Scientists are engaged in mimicking the photosynthesis to create the new energy devices such as dye sensitized solar cells. The fundamental theory and properties of the dye sensitized solar cells is given in the first chapter. In this research, the application of the different methods for surface alteration of SnO2 with water soluble porphyrins and phthalocyanine is studied. Using optical absorbance and steady state fluorescence studies, the formation of porphyrins and phthalocyanine discuss on the SnO2 surface is shown. Moreover, the different results of photoelectrochemical cells are show on chapter 2 to understand the porphyrin and phthalocyanine modified on SnO2 as electron injector. In summary, the application porphyrin and phthalocyanine of dimers as a broad band capturing photosensitized dye is discussed.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Lin, Chunyu

Study of Novel Ion/surface Interactions Using Soft-landing Ion Mobility

Description: Preparative mass spectrometry is a gas-phase ion deposition technique aimed at deposition of monodisperse ion beams on a surface. This is accomplished through the implementation of a soft-landing ion mobility system which allows for high ion flux of conformationally selected ion packets. The soft-landing ion mobility system has been applied to a number of unique chemical problems including the deposition of insulators on graphene, the preparation of reusable surface enhanced Raman spectroscopic substrates, and the deposition of uranium nanoparticles. Soft-landing ion mobility provided a platform for the quick deposition of usable amounts of materials, which is the major objective of preparative mass spectrometry. Soft-landing ion mobility is unique when compared to other preparative mass spectrometric techniques in that the ion packets are conformationally separated, not separated on mass to charge ratio. This provides orthogonal complementary data to traditional mass spectrometric techniques and allows for the study of conformationally monodisperse surfaces. The diversity of problems that have been and continued to be explored with soft-landing ion mobility highlight the utility of the technique as a novel tool for the study of multiple ion/surface interactions.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Hoffmann, William Darryle

Substitution Effects of Phenothiazine and Porphyrin Dyes in Dye-sensitized Solar Cells

Description: The details of dye sensitized solar cells was explained and phenothiazine and porphyrin based dyes were synthesized for use in DSSCs. DSSCs offer a unique and cost effective method of renewable energy. DSSCs are characterized through various tests, with the overall efficiency, η, bearing the greatest importance. Incident photon to current conversion efficiency, or IPCE, is also another important characterization of DSSCs. Effect of positioning of the cyanoacrylic acid anchoring group on ring periphery of phenothiazine dye on the performance of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is reported. The performances of the cells are found to be prominent for solar cells made out of Type-1 dyes compared to Type-2 dyes. This trend has been rationalized based on spectral, electrochemical, computational and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy results. Free-base and zinc porphyrins bearing a carboxyl anchoring group at the para, meta, or ortho positions of one of the meso-phenyl rings were synthesized for DSSCs. Photoelectrochemical studies were performed after immobilization of porphyrins onto nanocrystalline TiO2. The performance of DSSCs with the porphyrin anchoring at the para or meta position were found to greatly exceed those in the ortho position. Additionally, zinc porphyrin derivatives outperformed the free-base porphyrin analogs, including better dye regeneration efficiency for the zinc porphyrin derivatives and for the meta and para derivatives through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy studies. The overall structure-performance trends observed for the present porphyrin DSSCs have been rationalized based on spectral, electrochemical, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and transient spectroscopy results.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Hart, Aaron S.

Supramolecular Solar Cells

Description: Supramolecular chemistry - chemistry of non-covalent bonds including different type of intermolecular interactions viz., ion-pairing, ion-dipole, dipole-dipole, hydrogen bonding, cation-p and Van der Waals forces. Applications based on supramolecular concepts for developing catalysts, molecular wires, rectifiers, photochemical sensors have been evolved during recent years. Mimicking natural photosynthesis to build energy harvesting devices has become important for generating energy and solar fuels that could be stored for future use. In this dissertation, supramolecular chemistry is being explored for creating light energy harvesting devices. Photosensitization of semiconductor metal oxide nanoparticles, such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) and tin oxide (SnO2,), via host-guest binding approach has been explored. In the first part, self-assembly of different porphyrin macrocyclic compounds on TiO2 layer using axial coordination approach is explored. Supramolecular dye sensitized solar cells built based on this approach exhibited Incident Photon Conversion Efficiency (IPCE) of 36% for a porphyrin-ferrocene dyad. In the second part, surface modification of SnO2 with water soluble porphyrins and phthalocyanine resulted in successful self-assembly of dimers on SnO2 surface. IPCE more than 50% from 400 - 700 nm is achieved for the supramolecular self-assembled heterodimer photocells is achieved. In summary, the axial ligation and ion-pairing method used as supramolecular tools to build photocells, exhibited highest quantum efficiency of light energy conversion with panchromatic spectral coverage. The reported findings could be applied to create interacting molecular systems for next generation of efficient solar energy harvesting devices.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Subbaiyan, Navaneetha Krishnan