SURFACE SCIENCE STUDIES ON TITANIA FOR SOLAR FUEL APPLICATIONS Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Hadsell, Courtney Sara Mathews
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Abstract
  • Titanium dioxide (titania) is a well-studied material for various applications including but not limited to, paint, sunscreen, pharmaceuticals and solar cell applications (photocatalysis.) It can be found in three main crystal forms; rutile, anatase, and brookite and this work will focus on the anatase form which has been heavily studied for its potential in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs.) I propose that aqueous and photo dye stability can be improved by taking special care to the exposed surface of anatase. Additionally, the theoretical maximum open circuit voltage of a DSSC is dependent upon which surface is exposed to the electrolyte. Previous works in this area have not been rigorous with respect to the surface and morphology of titania being used. Standard synthesis techniques of anatase lead to a crystal that generally has 94% of the titania (101) surface exposed, and the other 6% is the higher energy (001) surface. The (101) surface has 5 & 6-fold coordinated titania whereas the (001) surface only has 5-fold (under) coordinated titania. This under-coordination leads to enhanced reactivity of the (001) surface which has been demonstrated by dissassociative adsorption of water, and catalysis applications. Much theoretical work has focused on the minority (001) surface because up until recently synthesizing anatase with enhanced exposure of the (001) surface has been difficult. The initial materials for this study will be multilayer titania nanotubes (TiNTs) and nanosheets (TiNS) which have been previously characterized by my predecessor. The TiNTs and TiNS have 100% exposed (001)-like surface. Both of these materials show enhanced stability of phosphonated dye binding as compared to the current standard of anatase nanoparticles (NPs) however, due to their limited thermal stability the potential of incorporating the TiNTs and TiNSs into devices has been eliminated in this study. To overcome the device limitations I will synthesis a novel titania nanotile (ntile) material which will have enhancement of the (001) surface while an increased thermal stability allowing for incorporation into a device. These ntiles will be created from a hydrothermal hydrolysis reaction between titanium n-butoxide (TiBuOx) and hydrofluoric acid (HF.) I will characterize this novel material and demonstrate the enhanced dye binding as well as the device capabilities.
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Wu, Yue
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2013
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