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Scientific/Technical Report

Description: This symposium aimed to bring together researchers working on quantifying nanoscale carrier transport processes in excitonic solar cells. Excitonic solar cells, including all-organic, hybrid organic-inorganic and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), offer strong potential for inexpensive and large-area solar energy conversion. Unlike traditional inorganic semiconductor solar cells, where all the charge generation and collection processes are well understood, these excitonic solar cells contain extremely disordered structures with complex interfaces which results in large variations in nanoscale electronic properties and has a strong influence on carrier generation, transport, dissociation and collection. Detailed understanding of these processes is important for fabrication of highly efficient solar cells. Efforts to improve efficiency are underway at a large number of research groups throughout the world focused on inorganic and organic semiconductors, photonics, photophysics, charge transport, nanoscience, ultrafast spectroscopy, photonics, semiconductor processing, device physics, device structures, interface structure etc. Rapid progress in this multidisciplinary area requires strong synergetic efforts among researchers from diverse backgrounds. Such efforts can lead to novel methods for development of new materials with improved photon harvesting and interfacial treatments for improved carrier transport, process optimization to yield ordered nanoscale morphologies with well-defined electronic structures.
Date: November 21, 2012
Creator: Bommissetty, Venkat
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Molecules and Materials for Excitonic Solar Cells Using P-type Metal Oxide Semiconductors

Description: This dissertation has two intersecting foci; firstly, the discovery of a new methodology for the growth of high surface area cuprous oxide (Cu2O) substrates. Secondly, the synthesis and characterization of electron-accepting molecules, and their incorporation into excitonic solar cells (XSCs) using the Cu2O substrates as electrodes. Increasing the surface area of the semiconductor creates more locations for charge transfer to occur thus increasing the overall efficiency of the device. Zinc oxide (ZnO) has been widely studied, and can be easily grown into many different films with high surface area morphologies. The ZnO films serve as sacrificial templates that allow us to electrochemically grow new semiconductors with the same high surface area morphologies but composed of a material having more desirable electronic properties. A polymer can be applied over the surface of the ZnO nanorod films before etching the ZnO with a weak acid, thereby leaving a polymer nanopore membrane. Cathodic electrodeposition of Cu2O into the membrane nanopores gives Cu2O nanorods. Electron-accepting dyes are designed with tethers that allow for direct attachment to metal oxide semiconductors. After soaking, the semiconductor is coated with a monolayer of a dye and then the coated semiconductor films were made into various dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). These cells were studied to determine the electron transport properties at the semiconductor/sensitizer/electrolyte interface.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Haynes, Keith M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Field Dependence of Optical Properties in Quantum Well Heterostructures Within the Wentzel, Kramers, and Brillouin Approximation

Description: This dissertation is a theoretical treatment of the electric field dependence of optical properties such as Quantum Confined Stark (QCS) shifts, Photoluminescence Quenching (PLQ), and Excitonic Mixing in quantum well heterostructures. The reduced spatial dimensionality in heterostructures greatly enhances these optical properties, more than in three dimensional semiconductors. Charge presence in the quantum well from doping causes the potential to bend and deviate from the ideal square well potential. A potential bending that varies as the square of distance measured from the heterostructure interfaces is derived self-consistently. This potential is used to solve the time-independent Schrodinger equation for bound state energies and wave functions within the framework of the Wentzel, Kramers, and Brillouin (WKB) approximation. The theoretical results obtained from the WKB approximation are limited to wide gap semiconductors with large split off bands such as gallium arsenide-gallium aluminum arsenide and indium gallium arsenide—indium phosphide. Quantum wells with finite confinement heights give rise to an energy dependent WKB phase. External electric and magnetic fields are incorporated into the theory for two different geometries. For electric fields applied perpendicular to the heterostructure multilayers, QCS shifts and PLQ are found to be in excellent agreement with the WKB calculations. Orthogonality between electrons and holes gives rise to interband mixing in the presence of an external electric field. On the contrary, intraband mixing between light and heavy holes is not sufficiently accounted for in the WKB approximation.
Date: August 1989
Creator: Wallace, Andrew B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Do the Defects Make It Work? Defect Engineering in Pi-Conjugated Polymers and Their Solar Cells: Preprint

Description: The charged defect density in common pi-conjugated polymers such as poly(3-hexylthiophene), P3HT, is around 1018 cm-3. Despite, or perhaps because of, this huge defect density, bulk heterojunction solar cells made from these polymers and a C60 derivative such as PCBM exhibit some of the highest efficiencies (~5%) yet obtained in solid state organic photovoltaic cells. We discuss defects in molecular organic semiconductors and in pi-conjugated polymers. These defects can be grouped in two categories, covalent and noncovalent. Somewhat analogous to treating amorphous silicon with hydrogen, we introduce chemical methods to modify the density and charge of the covalent defects in P3HT by treating it with electrophiles such as dimethyl sulfate and nucleophiles such as sodium methoxide. The effects of these treatments on the electrical and photovoltaic properties and stability of organic PV cells is discussed in terms of the change in the number and chemical properties of the defects. Finally, we address the question of whether the efficiency of OPV cells requires the presence of these defects which function as adventitious p-type dopants. Their presence relieves the resistance limitations usually encountered in cleaner organic semiconductors and can create built-in electric fields at junctions.
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Wang, D.; Reese, M.; N., Kopidakis & Gregg, B. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department