semiconductors, quantum dots, lead sulfide, photoluminescence
Improving solar panel efficiency has become increasingly important as the world searches for cheap renewable energy. Recent developments in the industry have focused on multi-layer cells, some of which use semiconducting dyes to absorb light in place of crystalline solids. In this paper, I characterize various dyes recently synthesized for use in solar panels. These dyes contain semiconducting nanoparticles enclosed primarily by the protein ferritin to limit particle size. The band gaps were measured using either optical absorption spectroscopy or measuring the photoluminescence spectrum, depending on the type of semiconductor. The results indicate that both manganese oxide and lead sulfide nanoparticles can be synthesized in ferritin and their band gaps tuned to slightly above and below 1 eV. In addition, it was shown that ferritin effectively protects against the photocorrosion which is common when particles are synthesized without its protection.
The author worked with Dr. John S. Colton in the BYU Physics department on this project. This was part of the BYU REU program. The National Science Foundation funds undergraduate research across the country through the REU program.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Peterson, John Ryan, "Quantum Dot Band Gap Investigations" (2016). Student Works. 185.
Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Physics and Astronomy
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