The development of cost-effective materials for effective utilization of solar energy is a major challenge for solving the energy problems that face the world. This thesis work relates to the development of mesoporous materials for solar energy applications in the areas of photocatalytic water splitting and the generation of electricity. Mesoporous materials were employed throughout the studies because of their favorable physico-chemical properties such as high surface areas and large porosities. The first project was related to the use of a cubic periodic mesoporous material, MCM-48. The studies showed that chromium loading directly affected the phase of mesoporous silica formed. Furthermore, within the cubic MCM-48 structure, the loading of polychromate species determined the concentration of solar hydrogen produced. In an effort to determine the potential of mesoporous materials, titanium dioxide was prepared using the Evaporation-Induced Self-Assembly (EISA) synthetic method. The aging period directly determined the amount of various phases of titanium dioxide. This method was extended for the preparation of cobalt doped titanium dioxide for solar simulated hydrogen evolution. In another study, metal doped systems were synthesized using the EISA procedure and rhodamine B (RhB) dye sensitized and metal doped titania mesoporous materials were evaluated for visible light hydrogen evolution. The final study employed various mesoporous titanium dioxide materials for N719 dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) materials for photovoltaic applications. The materials were extensively characterized using powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), nitrogen physisorption, diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), UV-Vis spectroscopy, Fourier-Transform-Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), Raman spectroscopy, chemisorption, photoluminescence (PL), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In addition, photoelectrochemical measurements were completed using current-voltage (I-V) curves, external quantum efficiency (EQE) curves, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and transient spectroscopy. The thesis work presented provides a better understanding of the role of mesoporous materials for solar hydrogen and solar electricity production.
|Advisor:||Koodali, Ranjit T.|
|Commitee:||Jiang, Chaoyang, Logue, Brian A., Qiao, Qiquan, Sun, Haoran|
|School:||University of South Dakota|
|School Location:||United States -- South Dakota|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Alternative Energy, Chemistry, Nanoscience|
|Keywords:||Cr-mcm-48, Dye-sensitized solar cell, Mesoporous materials, Solar electricity, Solar hydrogen, Water splitting|
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