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Quantum Dot Sensitized Nanotubes for Full Solar Spectrum Photovoltaic Cell
Chemical and Materials Engineering
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The demand for energy with limited non-renewable sources of energy has called researchers to find clean renewable energy sources. Solar light is considered good choice of the alternate energy. Our effort in this work was to investigate efficient photovoltaic (PV) systems by designing a hybrid photoelectrode with good absorption as well as charge transport properties. A coupled semiconductor material, one-dimensional TiO2 nanotubes (1D TiO2-NTs), filled with low band semiconductor quantum dots (QDs), PbS QDs, for better charge carrier transport was prepared and investigated. The vertically standing self assembled nanotubular array was attained by anodizing the Ti metal in two different solutions: 1) Ethylene Glycol with 0.5 wt% NH4F and 3 vol percent water and 2) 0.5M H3PO4 with 0.5 wt% NH4F. The anodized samples were annealed and then filled with the nanoparticles of other low band gap semiconductor materials. The CdS nanoparticles were used for the better understanding of the sensitizing process. The material was then switched to the PbS. As in the hypothesis, if PbS quantum dots are uniformly distributed in the 1D TiO2 Multiple Charge Carrier Generation can be created since PbS has a small band gap. A chemical bath deposition process in the presence of ultrasonic waves was adopted for the deposition of the QDs. Saturated lead sulfide solution was used as the lead source and the 0.2 M Na2S solution for the sulfur source. The process resulted in the successful uniform deposition of the PbS QDs onto the 1D TiO2 NTs. The deposited compound obeyed the stoichiometric ratio of 1:1 as desired. Photocurrent densities of 4.5 mA/cm2 was obtained, which is higher than the TiO2 alone in a polysulfide solution. PbS-TiO2 can be a suitable candidate for harvesting a broad solar spectrum as the UV-vis study proved that they absorb the light in the UV range.