The University of Nevada, Reno Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is federally funded at $231,000.00 annually
Major: Chemical Engineering
Faculty Mentors: Dr. Ravi Subramanian
Research Topic: TiO2-CdSe Quantum Dot: Influence of Temperature on Solvothermally Deposited Cadmium Selenide (CdSe) Nanocrystals on Anodized TiO2 Nanotubes
Abstract: Worldwide technological development is increasing the demand for sustainable and renewable forms of electricity. Solar energy is one that is nearly universal and inexhaustible, but the cost-effectiveness of cells needs to be improved for them to be widely distributed. Chalcogenide quantum dots have been researched for their photoresponsive characteristics in the visible light region, which makes up ~43% of the sun's light. The TiO2 nanotubes absorb in the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum and thus allow for a wider range of light to be utilized. Solvothermal deposition of the chalcogenide nanoparticles has the ability to be tuned for particle size, absorbance and deposition density. The solvothermal process requires a relatively low energy input and is easily tunable and repeatable. The method is cheaper than chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and more reliable than the successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction (SILAR) method for quantum dot deposition. The easily tuned spectrum also has the potential of presenting the ability to develop broad spectrum solar cells. Temperatures tested range from 140-220°C. The increasing temperatures displayed a redshift in the visible light spectrum and optimal photocurrent was found at 220°C. A three electrode cell with a sodium sulfide solution displayed an 800% improvement on the short circuit current density over the 220°C sample over the base TiO2 nanotube film.
New Scholar: 2013 cohort
Graduating With Baccalaureate Degree: 2014