Surface Modification and Multiple Exciton Generation Studies of PbS Nanoparticles

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Title: Surface Modification and Multiple Exciton Generation Studies of PbS Nanoparticles
Author: Zemke, Jennifer M., 1983-
Abstract: Solar energy is a green alternative to fossil fuels but solar technologies to date have been plagued by low conversion efficiencies and high input costs making solar power inaccessible to much of the developing world. Semiconductor nanoparticles (NPs) may provide a route to efficient, economical solar devices through a phenomenon called multiple exciton generation (MEG). Through MEG, semiconductor NPs use a high-energy input photon to create more than one exciton (electron-hole pair) per photon absorbed, thereby exhibiting large photoconversion efficiencies. While MEG has been studied in many NP systems, and we understand some of the factors that affect MEG, a rigorous analysis of the NP-ligand interface with respect to MEG is missing. This dissertation describes how the NP ligand shell directly affects MEG and subsequent charge carrier recombination. Chapter I describes the motivation for studying MEG with respect to NP surface chemistry. Chapter II provides an in-depth overview of the transient absorption experiment used to measure MEG in the NP samples. Chapter III highlights the effect of oleic acid and sodium 2, 3-dimercaptopropane sulfonate on MEG in PbS NPs. The differences in carrier recombination were accounted for by two differences between these ligands: the coordinating atom and/or the secondary structure of the ligand. Because of these hypotheses, experiments were designed to elucidate the origin of these effects by controlling the NP ligand shell. Chapter IV details a viable synthetic route to thiol and amine-capped PbS NPs using sodium 3-mercaptopropane sulfonate as an intermediate ligand. With the versatile ligand exchange described in Chapter IV, the MEG yield and carrier recombination was investigated for ligands with varying headgroups but the same secondary structure. The correlation of ligand donor atom to MEG is outlined in Chapter V. Finally, Chapter VI discusses the conclusions and future outlook of the research reported in this dissertation. This dissertation includes previously published and unpublished co-authored material.
Description: xx, 134 p. : ill. (some col.)
Date: 2011-09

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