The Cation Exchange of CdS Nanocrystals Using Copper Based IonicLiquids to form Cu
S Nanorods, for their Integration into Low Cost SolarCells.
This project presents a method for the modification in composition of the CdS nanocrystallattice stabilized by alkylphosphonic acid ligands, by means of a cation exchange reaction toultimately form Cu
S nanorods. Cu
S nanorods have been cited as a candidate material foruse in photovoltaic applications, however the synthesis of Cu
S has proven difficult. Thesenanorods offer significant promise as a low cost alternative to silicon devices, which are notcompetitive with grid electricity due to high fabrication costs.Semiconductor nanorods can be synthesised using low cost and low energy processes such aspyrolysis injection and cation exchange substitution. In this project, the CdS nanorods(<100nm) were synthesized by the pyrolysis of organometallic precursors in hot surfactants.The cation exchange reaction was carried out post-synthesis and involves the replacement of the Cd
ions within the nanocrystal lattice with Cu
ions from solution. The modifiednanorods were characterized using X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Transmission ElectronMicroscopy (TEM), High Resolution TEM (HRTEM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS). Two cation exchange methods wereemployed in this project, both of which preserved the anisotropic shapes unique to the as-synthesized materials. EDS revealed that copper was predominant composition of thenanorods, with Point and Line Analysis providing further verification of this.This project also sought to investigate the recycling of the extracted cadmium for use insubsequent nanorod synthesis. The results obtained from Raman and UV-visible absorptionspectroscopy proved inconclusive, highlighting the requirement for further studies to becarried out in this area.Directed assembly of semiconductor nanorods onto a substrate is vital to ensure a highlyefficient photovoltaic device is produced. Electrophoresis was employed to attainperpendicular alignment of the semiconductor nanorods onto a glass substrate, coated withindium-tin oxide, which is the optimum architecture (when blended with conductingpolymers) for highly efficient nanorod-polymer based solar cells. SEM revealed strongnanorod alignment to the direction of the applied field and dense accumulation onto thevoltage-biased electrode.