3D printing of light trapping structures for dye-sensitised solar cells

Knott, Andrew N. (2018) 3D printing of light trapping structures for dye-sensitised solar cells. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Converting solar energy directly into electricity as a clean and renewable energy resource is immensely important to solve the energy crisis and environmental pollution problems induced by the consumption of fossil fuels. Dye-sensitised solar cells have attracted a great deal of attention following their development in 1991. They provide a technically and economically credible alternative that could challenge the dominance of conventional p-n junction photovoltaic devices in the solar energy market.

3D printing and other additive manufacturing techniques allow the fabrication of geometrically complex end-use products and components in a variety of materials by using technologies that deposit material layer-by-layer. The additive manufacturing of optoelectronic devices is still in its infancy but has the potential to completely revolutionise the industry. Two-photon polymerisation is a technique used to fabricate 3D structures with resolutions down to a few hundred nanometres. The technique shows the ability to fabricate highly complex 3D structures of arbitrary shape with unprecedented levels of control.

In this thesis the two-photon polymerisation 3D printing technique is used to fabricate TiO2 thin films of optimised 3D micro-design for use in DSSCs. Our 3D printed films have a considerable advantage over the conventional (random assembly) films, as they allow the implementation of optimised light trapping designs directly into the cell. Cells are characterised with scanning photocurrent microscopy with results showing these light trapping structures are able to improve photocurrent generation by up to approximately sim 9%$ when compared to conventional random assembly TiO2.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: O'Shea, James
Makarovskiy, Oleg
Wu, Yupeng
Tuck, Chris
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC350 Optics. Light, including spectroscopy
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Physics and Astronomy
Item ID: 50058
Depositing User: Knott, Andrew
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2018 04:40
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2018 18:45
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/50058

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