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Light Harvesting from UV to Near Infrared for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting by Incorporating Semiconducting Carbon Nanotubes in Quantum Dot:P3HT Hybrid Blends

Berghuis A.M., (2016) Light Harvesting from UV to Near Infrared for Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting by Incorporating Semiconducting Carbon Nanotubes in Quantum Dot:P3HT Hybrid Blends. Master's Thesis / Essay, Applied Physics.

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Abstract

Solar power is a promising renewable energy resource. One major drawback is the difficulty of supplying a continuous amount of energy due to variation in solar intensity. To provide a stable supply of electricity, energy storage is required. Hydrogen is a very suitable energy medium because it is clean and there are vast amounts of water available. In previous work1, photoelectrochemical hydrogen production was shown by a CdSe:P3HT bulk heterojunction photocathode. This thesis is about the incorporation of semiconducting single wall carbon nanotubes (s-SWNTs) in the CdSe:P3HT photocathode. In contrast to CdSe and P3HT, s-SWNTs can absorb near infrared light.2 Besides, s-SWNTs have high carrier mobility and chemical stability, and are solution processable. We show that the s-SWNTs in these devices can harvest near infrared (NIR) light, improve charge extraction from the P3HT and enable fabrication of thicker devices. In CdSe:P3HT:s-SWNT blends with high s-SWNT concentration, formation of scaffolds in the solution is observed. These scaffolds are found to have a positive influence on the EQE and hydrogen evolution at 0 V vs RHE, compared to both the CdSe:P3HT devices and the CdSe:P3HT:s-SWNT devices without scaffolds. The EQE under illumination of NIR (1150 nm) is 0.6% and up to 12% in the visible (compared to ~7% for the CdSe:P3HT blend). A maximum current density of 1.6 mA/cm2 at 0 V vs RHE was measured. In the scaffold area, an EQE of 2% in the NIR and 30% in the visible part of the spectrum is observed. In conclusion, we have shown that s-SWNTs are compatible with the solution processable technique of the CdSe:P3HT blend and that the scaffold structures can improve the performance of the photocathode.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Applied Physics
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:30
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:30
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/15591

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