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January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Chemistry

PI: Wayne L. Gladfelter

Monodispersed Zinc Oxide Nanoparticle-Dye Dyads and Triads: Characterization of the Early Events in Dye-sensitized Solar Cells

The overarching goal of this research is to study the relationship between structure, energetics, and dynamics in a set of synthetically controlled donor-acceptor dyads and triads. These studies will provide unprecedented understanding of the light absorption and charge transfer steps that lie at the heart of dye-sensitized solar cell, thus enabling significant future advances in cell efficiencies. This group’s approach begins with the construction of extremely well defined dye-nanoparticle (NP) dyads that will be sufficiently dispersible to allow the use of state-of-the-art pulsed laser spectroscopic and kinetic methods to understand the charge transfer events at a fundamental level. The key is that the monodisperse nature and high dispersibility of the ZnO NPs will make these experiments reproducible; in essence, the measurements will be on discrete molecular species rather than on the complicated mixtures that result from the typical fabrication of functional photovoltaic cells.

Group Members

Ryan Hue, Graduate Student
Rajan Vatassery, Graduate Student