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Surface Plasmonic Core-Shell Particles for Solar Energy Harvesting

Bo, Ding (2014) Surface Plasmonic Core-Shell Particles for Solar Energy Harvesting. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Plasmonic core-shell particles, consisting of a spherical dielectric core coated with a concentric layer of metallic nanoshell, are versatile subwavelength optical components. Their surface plasmon resonance can be tuned by simply varying the thickness of the metallic nanoshell and the diameter of the inner core. A facile two step method has been developed to synthesize core-shell particles with well coated Ag nanoshell. Embedding these plasmonic core-shell particles into TiO2 mesoporous photoelectrode enlarges the optical cross-section of dye sensitizers coated onto the photoelectrode and increases the energy conversion efficiency of dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The enhanced photon-electron conversion is attributed to localized surface plasmons of the core-shell particles, which increase the absorption and scattering of the incoming light in the photoelectrode. We also show that the extinction spectra of the photoelectrode can be effectively controlled by changing the geometric factor of the plasmonic particles. This tuning capability allows us to design the surface plasmons of the core-shell particles to maximize the absorption of the dye molecules with different optical absorption spectrum for dye sensitized solar cells. In addition, simulation has been applied based on Mie scattering theory to demonstrate the plasmon absorption and scattering effect of the core-shell particles. Furthermore, we report that the light harvesting efficiency of PbS nanoparticle solar cells is significantly increased by SiO2@Au@SiO2 plasmonic particles (SGSs). A mechanism underlying enhanced light harvesting of F-doped SnO2 (FTO)/TiO2/PbS/Au heterojunction solar cells is investigated using both experimental and theoretical methods. Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) simulation demonstrates that the effect of the plasmonic particles on the light absorption by PbS nanoparticles depends on the location of the plasmonic particles. When SGSs are placed between PbS and TiO2, nanodomes are formed on a top Au layer and additional light scattering at the nanodomes is found. Our results demonstrate that SGSs can promote the light harvesting of the thin film solar cells in two ways. The first enhancement effect is due to the localized surface plasmon resonance of SGSs themselves and the second one is attributed to the increased roughness of the top Au electrode with the nandomes.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bo, Dingbod6@pitt.eduBOD6
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLee, Jung-Kunjul37@pitt.eduJUL37
Committee CoChairBarnard, John A. jbarnard@pitt.eduJBARNARD
Committee MemberLeu, Paul W.pleu@pitt.eduPLEU
Committee MemberNettleship, Ian nettles@pitt.eduNETTLES
Committee MemberWang, Guofeng guw8@pitt.eduGUW8
Date: 16 June 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 July 2013
Approval Date: 16 June 2014
Submission Date: 3 April 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 149
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Materials Science and Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: solar cell, plasmon, dye sensitized solar cell, core-shell particle, PbS QD solar cell
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2014 19:58
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:18


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