Fabrication and application of light harvesting nanostructures in energy conversion

by Peng Hui Wang

Institution: University of Victoria
Degree: PhD
Year: 2014
Keywords: Solar cell; Surface plasmon; Fabrication; Nanostrucure; upconversion
Record ID: 2041697
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1828/5825


The production of an efficient and low cost device has been the ultimate goal in the photovoltaic cell development. The fabrication and application of nanostructured materials in the field of energy conversion has been attracting a lot of attention. In this work, applications of surface plasmons (SPs) and photonic nanostructures to the field of energy conversion, specifically in the area of silicon solar cells and lanthanide energy upconversion (UC) luminescence applications were studied. Enhanced power conversion efficiency in bulk (single crystalline) silicon solar cells was demonstrated using an optimized mixture of the silver and gold nanoparticles (NPs) on the front of the cell to tackle the negative effect in the Au NPs plasmonic application. Then, a comparison of identically shaped metallic (Al, Au and Ag) and nonmetallic (SiO2) NPs integrated to the back contact of amorphous thin film silicon solar cells were investigated to solve a controversy issue in literature. The result indicates that parasitic absorption from metallic NPs might be a drawback to the SPs enhancement. A cost-effective fabrication of large area (5x5 cm2) honeycomb patterned transparent electrode for “folded” thin film solar cell application by combining the nanosphere lithography and electrodeposition were realized. Furthermore, the SPs enhanced tunable energy upconversion from NaYF4:Yb3+/Er3+ NPs in nanoslits were also demonstrated, our results shows that the relative red/green emission can be controlled by different plasmonic mode coupling. Graduate