Charge Transport in Materials for Solar Energy Conversion and Storage
Molecular Physics seminar
Monday 21 August 2017
to 11:00 at
Steven J. Konezny (Yale University)
Nanomaterials are the backbone of many renewable energy strategies. Solar cells, batteries, and fuel cells can utilize their large surface areas for solar light harvesting, catalysis, and other interfacial processes. The advantages, however, come at the expense of limited charge carrier mobility and collection efficiency. By studying the mechanisms of charge transport and structure-electronic property relationships in nanostructured materials, we can learn how to design materials with optimal performance and energy conversion efficiency.
In this talk I will describe the techniques I use to measure the electrical properties of nanostructured materials with low-temperature and femtoamp-detection capabilities and how these experiments can be powerful tools in fundamental charge transport studies. I will discuss the theory of fluctuation-induced tunneling conductivity as it relates to nanomaterials in general, using a coupling of temperature-dependent conductivity data and computational modeling of metal-oxide-nanoparticle thin films as an example. I will also discuss how, particularly when partnered with advanced spectroscopic techniques, nanomaterial design strategies can be both guided and assessed using these experimental and theoretical tools.