Beyond Photovoltaics: Semiconductor Nanoarchitectures for Liquid-Junction Solar Cells

Radiation Laboratory and Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, United States.
Chemical Reviews (Impact Factor: 46.57). 10/2010; 110(11):6664-88. DOI: 10.1021/cr100243p
Source: PubMed


Liquid-junction photoelectrochemical solar cells make use of the principles of photochemistry, electrochemistry, and semiconductor physical chemistry. The recent technological advances in the commercialization of dye sensitized solar cells have provided a further boost to the development of photoelectrochemical solar cells. One-dimensional architectures such as nanotubes and nanorods hold the promise of improving charge collection and transport with greater efficiency. While quantum dot sensitized solar cells lag behind dye sensitized solar cells in terms of overall power conversion efficiency, many salient features offer opportunities for improvement. Efforts are being made toward developing economically viable solar cells and solar fuel generation schemes. A hybrid technology which integrates solar cells and energy storage devices can pave the way for meeting ever-growing demand for clean, renewable energy.

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    • "On this respect, graphene-based polymer composites are very attractive materials that can be used for packaging for food, medicine, electronics [15], energy storage [16], electrically conductive polymers [17], making transparent conductive electrode for solar cells [18], and electrochromic devices [19]. Also photovoltaics based on fullerene C60 derivatives is one of the most attractive research areas in polymer science due to the advantages offered by these molecules for solar energy conversion [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]. However, fullerene C60 has some drawbacks because of its poor solubility in organic solvents [26] and its main absorption in the UV region. "
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    ABSTRACT: Defect-free graphene is easily obtained by the liquid dispersion method, without any chemical manipulation. Tetraethylene glycol diacrylate (TEGDA) is used as liquid medium in which the above nanofiller is dispersed alone or together with fullerene C60. TEGDA is used because of its good dispersion properties and as a monomer to be eventually polymerized, thus directly obtaining the corresponding polymer nanocomposites. Polymerization is performed by using both the classical or the frontal polymerization, Moreover, polymeric films were also prepared. The interaction between the two fillers and the influence of the synthetic techniques on material properties are deeply studied. The optical properties of the obtained nanocomposites are analyzed by absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy. Graphene containing materials show absorption at ca. 280 nm and exhibited significant emission in the range between 600-800 nm. In contrast, fullerene containing materials do not show any fluorescence, which can be attributed to a charge transfer phenomenon from graphene to fullerene C60.
    Composites Science and Technology 02/2015; 110. DOI:10.1016/j.compscitech.2015.02.011 · 3.57 Impact Factor
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    • "Rapid progress in the area of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) based on wide-band-gap oxide semiconductors and liquid electrolytes containing redox-mediators of electron transfer [1] [2] [3] [4] inspired studies of alternative types of photoelectrochemical systems aiming at the conversion and storage of solar energy, in particular the all-inorganic semiconductor-sensitized solar cells (SSSCs), where visible-light-sensitive metal chalcogenide semiconductor nanoparticles (NPs) act as sensitizers, cadmium and lead chalcogenide being the most widely used [2,3,5–7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The photocatalytic deposition of antimony(III) sulfide on the surface of TiO2 films on the conductive FTO glass was investigated. The photoprocess yields particles of amorphous and almost stoichiometric Sb2S3 with a size of 150–300 nm and spherical micrometer particles enriched with Sb with a Sb:S ratio that decreases gradually from 13:1 in the particle center to 5:1 at the surface. Thermal treatment of the FTO/TiO2/Sb2S3 films at 350 °C results in the transformation of amorphous antimony(III) sulfide into crystalline stibnite without extensive changes in the film morphology.
    Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A Chemistry 02/2015; 303. DOI:10.1016/j.jphotochem.2015.02.005 · 2.50 Impact Factor
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    • "The ZnO/CdS heterostructures formed by CdS nanoparticles (NPs) grown on the ZnO substrates with a high surface area (nanowire and nanotube arrays [1] [2] [3] [4] [5], nanorods [6], mesoporous films [7] [8], etc.) are attractive for utilization in the third-generation photovoltaic solar cells [9] [10] [11] [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Properties of CdS nanoparticles (NPs) grown by successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR) method on the surface of electrodeposited ZnO films were studied by Raman, photocurrent and UV–Vis absorption spectroscopies. The CdS nanoparticles deposited at a SILAR cycle number (N) from 5 to 10 exhibit a broadening of the band gap (Eg) by 0.17–0.31 eV as compared with that of the CdS particles grown at N = 30. The size quantization of the interband transition energy in CdS nanoparticles is in accordance with the Raman spectroscopic data demonstrating a considerable increase in the LO peak intensity with increasing the N from 5 to 10 as a result of transition to resonant light scattering. The spectral width of the LO peak decreases from 50 to 15 cm− 1 as the N increases from 5 to 30 reflecting a less pronounced effect of the nanoparticle surface on the phonon scattering. A large spectral width of the Raman peaks is assumed to originate from a complex structure of the CdS nanoparticles comprising crystallinity domains that can affect the phonon confinement. The photocurrent spectroscopy of ZnO/CdS heterostructures showed that the band gap of CdS NPs deposited at N > 20 is smaller by ~ 0.08 eV than that of bulk cadmium sulfide. It was concluded that this effect is not associated with photoexcitation of structural defects but rather reflects intrinsic electronic properties of SILAR-deposited CdS nanoparticles.
    Thin Solid Films 07/2014; 562:56–62. DOI:10.1016/j.tsf.2014.03.070 · 1.76 Impact Factor
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