Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
nanoparticles, plasmonics, silicon-on-insulator
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Renewable energy sources are a vital topic to the future of growing industrialized nations. Solar cells are a popular potential technology to become a major source of energy supply, with Silicon (Si) being the most common solar cell semiconductor material. To address the cost of bulk Si, thin film amorphous Silicon (a-Si) solar cell technology was developed. The drawback to using thin film a-Si solar cells is the reduction in power efficiency compared to bulk Si cells. In this work we explore the use of local plasmon resonance and nanoparticle interfaces to enhance photocurrent within thin film Si. Silver (Ag) nano ink and synthesized Ag nanoparticles were deposited onto Silicon-on-insulator devices through a spin-coating technique. The photocurrent response to the plasmonic interface for several solution weights and particle sizes were analyzed. The photocurrent responses of varying solution weights of 40 nm diameter Ag nano ink particles were tested. The maximum photocurrent response was found to be 149.96 ± 6.69% with a surface coverage of 7% and a solution of 0.1% wt./vol. Two nanoparticle sizes of 31 nm and 69 nm were also synthesized through wet chemistry techniques. The 69 nm diameter particle had the greatest photocurrent enhancement of 198.84 ± 3.43%. The 31 nm diameter particles at the same solution dilution had a photcurrent enhancement of 48.92 ± 1.47%. This response is greater than the photocurrent enhancement of 16 nm diameter particles fabricated using the thermal evaporation and annealing techniques which reported a maximum enhancement of 33%. Using this simple method of prefabricating and spin-coating particles, reliable photocurrent enhancement may be achieved and the parameters of the nanoparticles may be controlled for maximum enhancement.
Israelowitz, Miriam, "Optimal Solution Based Plasmonic Interfaces for Photocurrent Enhancement in Silicon-on-Insulator Devices" (2013). Electrical Engineering and Computer Science – Theses. 2.