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Nanocolloquium: Pratim Biswas - Aerosol Nanoparticle Technology Enabling Solar Energy Research...
Monday, April 9, 2012
11:30 a.m.
JM Patterson 3201
For More Information:
Michael Zachariah

Aerosol Nanoparticle Technology Enabling Solar Energy Research and Development

Pratim Biswas

The Lucy and Stanley Lopata Professor

Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering

Washington University in St Louis


Research in the Aerosol and Air Quality Research Lab at Washington University in St. Louis focuses on use of novel aerosol methodologies for synthesis of various nanomaterials with controllable sizes, morphologies, and functionalities, ranging from inorganic oxides to soft materials, for a variety of different applications. This talk will focus on nanostructured thin films that are efficient light harvesters and used in solar PV and solar fuel production.

An aerosol chemical vapor deposition (ACVD) process has been developed to deposit semiconductor thin films in a one step process. By controlling the processing conditions,

different morphologies of the nanostructured thin film can be readily obtained. Important physical characteristics include the arrival size of the particles (gas phase aerosol growth dynamics) and substrate temperature / temperature gradients (heat transfer rates). The phenomena of particle sintering (affected by particle size and substrate temperature) post deposition is important in establishing the final morphology of the thin film. These films have

been tested in a variety of configurations, solar PV and water splitting cells to demonstrate the improved efficacy of the 1-D columnar structure.

Novel light absorbers from plants and photosynthetic bacteria were isolated and used to create bio-hybrid devices. The design and assembly of such nano-bio hybrid devices were facilitated by the use of in-flight aerosol size characterization (mobility measurements) and charge distribution measurements. The antenna structures were used to enhance light absorption in the longer wavelengths, and preliminary results indicate enhanced energy conversion efficiencies. Following these studies, monomers were created synthetically and then assembled to create analogs of the biological light absorbing antenna structures. Studies in the self-assembly of these pigmentary monomers were enabled by use of electrospray atomization. Results of energy transfer studies conducted with ultrafast spectroscopy in the biomimetic structures will be discussed.

This Event is For: Graduate • Faculty • Post-Docs


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