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1.
Adv Mater ; 32(23): e1906478, 2020 Jun.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32347620

RESUMO

Above-equilibrium "hot"-carrier generation in metals is a promising route to convert photons into electrical charge for efficient near-infrared optoelectronics. However, metals that offer both hot-carrier generation in the near-infrared and sufficient carrier lifetimes remain elusive. Alloys can offer emergent properties and new design strategies compared to pure metals. Here, it is shown that a noble-transition alloy, Aux Pd1- x , outperforms its constituent metals concerning generation and lifetime of hot carriers when excited in the near-infrared. At optical fiber wavelengths (e.g., 1550 nm), Au50 Pd50 provides a 20-fold increase in the number of ≈0.8 eV hot holes, compared to Au, and a threefold increase in the carrier lifetime, compared to Pd. The discovery that noble-transition alloys can excel at hot-carrier generation reveals a new material platform for near-infrared optoelectronic devices.

2.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 12(20): 22778-22788, 2020 May 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32338494

RESUMO

Devices driven by above-equilibrium "hot" electrons are appealing for photocatalytic technologies, such as in situ H2O2 synthesis, but currently suffer from low (<1%) overall quantum efficiencies. Gold nanostructures excited by visible light generate hot electrons that can inject into a neighboring semiconductor to drive electrochemical reactions. Here, we designed and studied a metal-insulator-metal (MIM) structure of Au nanoparticles on a ZnO/TiO2/Al film stack, deposited through room-temperature, lithography-free methods. Light absorption, electron injection efficiency, and photocatalytic yield in this device are superior in comparison to the same stack without Al. Our device absorbs >60% of light at the Au localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) peak near 530 nm-a 5-fold enhancement in Au absorption due to critical coupling to an Al film. Furthermore, we show through ultrafast pump-probe spectroscopy that the Al-coupled samples exhibit a nearly 5-fold improvement in hot-electron injection efficiency as compared to a non-Al device, with the hot-electron lifetimes extending to >2 ps in devices photoexcited with fluence of 0.1 mJ cm-2. The use of an Al film also enhances the photocatalytic yield of H2O2 more than 3-fold in a visible-light-driven reactor. Altogether, we show that the critical coupling of Al films to Au nanoparticles is a low-cost, lithography-free method for improving visible-light capture, extending hot-carrier lifetimes, and ultimately increasing the rate of in situ H2O2 generation.

3.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 8(23): 14692-700, 2016 Jun 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27224958

RESUMO

Light absorption and electron injection are important criteria determining solar energy conversion efficiency. In this research, monodisperse CdSe quantum dots (QDs) are synthesized with five different diameters, and the size-dependent solar energy conversion efficiency of CdSe quantum dot sensitized solar cell (QDSSCs) is investigated by employing the atomic inorganic ligand, S(2-). Absorbance measurements and transmission electron microscopy show that the diameters of the uniform CdSe QDs are 2.5, 3.2, 4.2, 6.4, and 7.8 nm. Larger CdSe QDs generate a larger amount of charge under the irradiation of long wavelength photons, as verified by the absorbance results and the measurements of the external quantum efficiencies. However, the smaller QDs exhibit faster electron injection kinetics from CdSe QDs to TiO2 because of the high energy level of CBCdSe, as verified by time-resolved photoluminescence and internal quantum efficiency results. Importantly, the S(2-) ligand significantly enhances the electronic coupling between the CdSe QDs and TiO2, yielding an enhancement of the charge transfer rate at the interfacial region. As a result, the S(2-) ligand helps improve the new size-dependent solar energy conversion efficiency, showing best performance with 4.2-nm CdSe QDs, whereas conventional ligand, mercaptopropionic acid, does not show any differences in efficiency according to the size of the CdSe QDs. The findings reported herein suggest that the atomic inorganic ligand reinforces the influence of quantum confinement on the solar energy conversion efficiency of QDSSCs.

4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 113(15): 3966-71, 2016 Apr 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27035977

RESUMO

Photocatalytic pathways could prove crucial to the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals required for a carbon-neutral society. Electron-hole recombination is a critical problem that has, so far, limited the efficiency of the most promising photocatalytic materials. Here, we show the efficacy of anisotropy in improving charge separation and thereby boosting the activity of a titania (TiO2) photocatalytic system. Specifically, we show that H2 production in uniform, one-dimensional brookite titania nanorods is highly enhanced by engineering their length. By using complimentary characterization techniques to separately probe excited electrons and holes, we link the high observed reaction rates to the anisotropic structure, which favors efficient carrier utilization. Quantum yield values for hydrogen production from ethanol, glycerol, and glucose as high as 65%, 35%, and 6%, respectively, demonstrate the promise and generality of this approach for improving the photoactivity of semiconducting nanostructures for a wide range of reacting systems.

5.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 7(21): 11516-25, 2015 Jun 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25951891

RESUMO

ZnS is a wide band gap semiconductor whose many applications, such as photovoltaic buffer layers, require uniform and continuous films down to several nanometers thick. Chemical bath deposition (CBD) is a simple, low-cost, and scalable technique to deposit such inorganic films. However, previous attempts at CBD of ZnS have often resulted in nodular noncontinuous films, slow growth rates at low pH, and high ratio of oxygen impurities at high pH. In this work, ZnS thin films were grown by adding hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA) to a conventional recipe that uses zinc sulfate, nitrilotriacetic acid trisodium salt, and thioacetamide. Dynamic bath characterization showed that HMTA helps the bath to maintain near-neutral pH and also acts as a catalyst, which leads to fast nucleation and deposition rates, continuous films, and less oxygen impurities in the films. Films deposited on glass from HMTA-containing bath were uniform, continuous, and 90 nm thick after 1 h, as opposed to films grown without HMTA that were ∼3 times thinner and more nodular. On Cu2(Zn,Sn)Se4, films grown with HMTA were continuous within 10 min. The films have comparatively few oxygen impurities, with S/(S+O) atomic ratio of 88%, and high optical transmission of 98% at 360 nm. The Zn(S,O,OH) films exhibit excellent adhesion to glass and high resistivity, which make them ideal nucleation layers for other metal sulfides. Their promise as a nucleation layer was demonstrated with the deposition of thin, continuous Sb2S3 overlayers. This novel HMTA chemistry enables rapid deposition of Zn(S,O,OH) thin films to serve as a nucleation layer, a photovoltaic buffer layer, or an extremely thin continuous coating for thin film applications. HMTA may also be applied in a similar manner for solution deposition of other metal chalcogenide and oxide thin films with superior properties.

6.
ACS Nano ; 9(2): 1820-8, 2015 Feb 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25644854

RESUMO

Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals have been used as building blocks for electronic and optoelectronic devices ranging from field-effect transistors to solar cells. Properties of the nanocrystal films depend sensitively on the choice of capping ligand to replace the insulating synthesis ligands. Thus far, ligands leading to the best performance in transistors result in poor solar cell performance, and vice versa. To gain insight into the nature of this dichotomy, we used time-resolved terahertz spectroscopy measurements to study the mobility and lifetime of PbSe nanocrystal films prepared with five common ligand-exchange reagents. Noncontact terahertz spectroscopy measurements of conductivity were corroborated by contacted van der Pauw measurements of the same samples. The films treated with different displacing ligands show more than an order of magnitude difference in the peak conductivities and a bifurcation of time dynamics. Inorganic chalcogenide ligand exchanges with sodium sulfide (Na2S) or ammonium thiocyanate (NH4SCN) show high mobilities but nearly complete decay of transient photocurrent in 1.4 ns. In contrast, ligand exchanges with 1,2-ethylenediamine (EDA), 1,2-ethanedithiol (EDT), and tetrabutylammonium iodide (TBAI) show lower mobilities but longer carrier lifetimes, resulting in longer diffusion lengths. This bifurcated behavior may explain the divergent performance of field-effect transistors and photovoltaics constructed from nanocrystal building blocks with different ligand exchanges.

7.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 6(5): 3721-8, 2014 Mar 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24447012

RESUMO

Enhancement of the charge transfer rate in CdSe quantum dot (QD) sensitized solar cells is one of the most important criteria determining cell efficiency. We report a novel strategy for enhancing charge transfer by exchanging the native, long organic chain to an atomic ligand, S(2-), with a simple solid exchange process. S(2-)-ligand exchange is easily executed by dipping the CdSe QDs sensitized photoanode into a formamide solution of K2S. The results show that this exchange process leads to an enhancement of the electronic coupling between CdSe QD and TiO2 by removing the insulating organic barrier to charge transfer, while maintaining its quantum confined band structure. This treatment significantly increases the charge transfer rate at the interfacial region between CdSe QDs and TiO2 as well as between the CdSe QDs and Red/Ox coupling electrolyte, as verified by time-resolved photoluminescence and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements. Finally, the S(2-)-treated photoanode exhibits a much higher photovoltaic performance than the conventional MPA or TGA-capped CdSe QDs sensitized solar cell. The findings reported herein propose an innovative route toward harvesting energy from solar light by enhancing the carrier charge transfer rate.

8.
Annu Rev Phys Chem ; 65: 423-47, 2014.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24423371

RESUMO

Sunlight can be used to drive chemical reactions to produce fuels that store energy in chemical bonds. These fuels, such as hydrogen from splitting water, have much larger energy density than do electrical storage devices. The efficient conversion of clean, sustainable solar energy using photoelectrochemical and photocatalytic systems requires precise control over the thermodynamics, kinetics, and structural aspects of materials and molecules. Generation, thermalization, trapping, interfacial transfer, and recombination of photoexcited charge carriers often occur on femtosecond to picosecond timescales. These short timescales limit the transport of photoexcited carriers to nanometer-scale distances, but nanostructures with high surface-to-volume ratios can enable both significant light absorption and high quantum efficiency. This review highlights the importance of understanding ultrafast carrier dynamics for the generation of solar fuels, including case studies on colloidal nanostructures, nanostructured photoelectrodes, and photoelectrodes sensitized with molecular chromophores and catalysts.


Assuntos
Nanoestruturas/química , Energia Solar , Coloides/química , Corantes/química , Eletroquímica/instrumentação , Eletroquímica/métodos , Desenho de Equipamento , Compostos Férricos/química , Modelos Moleculares , Nanoestruturas/ultraestrutura , Óxidos/química , Processos Fotoquímicos , Titânio/química , Água/química
9.
Nanotechnology ; 23(26): 265701, 2012 Jul 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22699426

RESUMO

We report on the crystallite growth and phase change of electrodeposited CdSe coatings on ZnO nanowires during annealing. Both in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD) reveal that the nanocrystal size increases from ∼3 to ∼10 nm upon annealing at 350 °C for 1 h and then to more than 30 nm during another 1 h at 400 °C, exhibiting two distinct growth regimes. Nanocrystal growth occurs together with a structural change from zinc blende to wurtzite. The structural transition begins at 350 °C, which results in the formation of stacking faults. Increased crystallite size, comparable to the coating thickness, can improve charge separation in extremely thin absorber solar cells. We demonstrate a nearly two-fold improvement in power conversion efficiency upon annealing.

10.
Anal Chem ; 83(12): 4342-68, 2011 Jun 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21534575
11.
Langmuir ; 27(7): 3672-7, 2011 Apr 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21361384

RESUMO

Chemical bath deposition (CBD) is an inexpensive and reproducible method for depositing ZnO nanowire arrays over large areas. The aqueous Zn(NO(3))(2)-hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA) chemistry is one of the most common CBD chemistries for ZnO nanowire synthesis, but some details of the reaction mechanism are still not well-understood. Here, we report the use of in situ attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy to study HMTA adsorption from aqueous solutions onto ZnO nanoparticle films and show that HMTA does not adsorb on ZnO. This result refutes earlier claims that the anisotropic morphology arises from HMTA adsorbing onto and capping the ZnO {10 1 0} faces. We conclude that the role of HMTA in the CBD of ZnO nanowires is only to control the saturation index of ZnO. Furthermore, we demonstrate the first deposition of ZnO nanowire arrays at 90 °C and near-neutral pH conditions without HMTA. Nanowires were grown using the pH buffer 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid (MES) and continuous titratation with KOH to maintain the same pH conditions where growth with HMTA occurs. This semi-batch synthetic method opens many new opportunities to tailor the ZnO morphology and properties by independently controlling temperature and pH.

12.
J Phys Chem B ; 110(50): 25229-39, 2006 Dec 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17165967

RESUMO

The terahertz absorption coefficient, index of refraction, and conductivity of nanostructured ZnO have been determined using time-resolved terahertz spectroscopy, a noncontact optical probe. ZnO properties were measured directly for thin films and were extracted from measurements of nanowire arrays and mesoporous nanoparticle films by applying Bruggeman effective medium theory to the composite samples. Annealing significantly reduces the intrinsic carrier concentration in the ZnO films and nanowires, which were grown by chemical bath deposition. The complex-valued, frequency-dependent photoconductivities for all morphologies were found to be similar at short pump-probe delay times. Fits using the Drude-Smith model show that films have the highest mobility, followed by nanowires and then nanoparticles, and that annealing the ZnO increases its mobility. Time constants for decay of photoinjected electron density in films are twice as long as those in nanowires and more than 5 times those for nanoparticles due to increased electron interaction with interfaces and grain boundaries in the smaller-grained materials. Implications for electron transport in dye-sensitized solar cells are discussed.


Assuntos
Membranas Artificiais , Nanopartículas/química , Óxido de Zinco/química , Condutividade Elétrica , Lasers , Tamanho da Partícula , Sensibilidade e Especificidade , Espectrofotometria Infravermelho/métodos , Propriedades de Superfície , Fatores de Tempo
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