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Preparation of ZnO nanoelectrodes for use in solar cells

Grant number: 10/52109-8
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2011 - September 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics
Principal Investigator:Eguiberto Galego
Grantee:Eguiberto Galego
Home Institution: Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares (IPEN). Secretaria de Desenvolvimento Econômico (São Paulo - Estado). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The physical properties of zinc oxide have enabled its widespread use as a nanostructured material. The hexagonal crystal structure of zinc oxide permits a variety of morphologies to be obtained, and this allows it to be used in: UV lasers, piezoelectric crystals, chemical sensors, gas sensors, light emitting diodes, photo detectors, solar cells etc. In the solar energy field, ZnO has been used as an electrode in dye-sensitized solar cells, substituting TiO2 even though the ZnO electrode has lower conversion efficiency than TiO2. In recent years, much work is ongoing to develop methods to obtain low cost ZnO, environmentally benign and with higher solar conversion efficiency. The objectives of this project are: (1) to develop a microcomputer controlled automatic system to obtain ZnO nanostructures with nano-wire morphologies, for use as a solar cell electrode and achieve higher conversion efficiencies as a function of morphology; (2) characterization of the nanostructured ZnO using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. (AU)