Donald E. Heiman, Nathan E. Israeloff, Alain S. Karma
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Arts and Sciences. Department of Physics.
Solar energy harvesting, Nanotubes, Physics
Titanium oxide (titania) nanotubes, although relatively recently discovered (less than 15 years ago), have already shown great promise regarding solar energy harvesting applications, exhibiting very good photocatalytic and photovoltaic properties. An alternative anodization route for production of titania nanotubes at the surface of a titanium foil using chloride ions as catalyst instead of the routinely used highly toxic fluorides, is presented in this work. Moreover, the fabrication parameters are extensively studied, thus providing both an insight into the synthesis mechanism and hints towards possible process optimization routes. Although not forming uniformly over the sample surface and lacking long range ordering, very high aspect ratio (over 1000:1) nanotubes are rapidly formed (in minutes) by a self assembling mechanism. Thus, the method is a viable alternative route for the fast production of partially ordered titania nanotubes, both as films on top of a titanium foil, or as microscopic grains (powders or suspended in solutions). Since the as formed nanotubes are amorphous, attention is also given to the crystallization process, especially in the case of poorly studied powders. Attachment of other nanostructures such as cadmium telluride quantum dots, bio-composites (proteins), or gold nanoparticles for the synthesis of hybrid materials combining properties of both composites have been studied too. Also, possible applications of these new materials in two solar energy technologies: photovoltaic electricity generation using dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC's), and hydrogen production by the photoelectrochemical (PEC) splitting of water are investigated.
Panaitescu, Eugen, "Titanium oxide nanotubes: synthesis, properties and applications for solar energy harvesting" (2009). Physics Dissertations. Paper 13. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d10018888
Click button above to open, or right-click to save.