Broadband light absorption enhancement in dye-sensitized solar cells with Au-Ag alloy popcorn nanoparticles.
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we present an investigation on the use of Au-Ag alloy popcorn-shaped nanoparticles (NPs) to realise the broadband optical absorption enhancement of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). Both simulation and experimental results indicate that compared with regular plasmonic NPs, such as nano-spheres, irregular popcorn-shaped alloy NPs exhibit absorption enhancement over a broad wavelength range due to the excitation of localized surface plasmons (LSPs) at different wavelengths. The power conversion efficiency (PCE) of DSCs is enhanced by 16% from 5.26% to 6.09% by incorporating 2.38 wt% Au-Ag alloy popcorn NPs. Moreover, by adding a scattering layer on the exterior of the counter electrode, the popcorn NPs demonstrate an even stronger ability to increase the PCE by 32% from 5.94% to 7.85%, which results from the more efficient excitation of the LSP mode on the popcorn NPs.
Project description:Plant extract of Pulicaria undulata (L.) was used as both reducing agent and stabilizing ligand for the rapid and green synthesis of gold (Au), silver (Ag), and gold-silver (Au-Ag) bimetallic (phase segregated/alloy) nanoparticles (NPs). These nanoparticles with different morphologies were prepared in two hours by stirring corresponding metal precursors in the aqueous solution of the plant extracts at ambient temperature. To infer the role of concentration of plant extract on the composition and morphology of NPs, we designed two different sets of experiments, namely (i) low concentration (LC) and (ii) high concentration (HC) of plant extract. In the case of using low concentration of the plant extract, irregular shaped Au, Ag, or phase segregated Au-Ag bimetallic NPs were obtained, whereas the use of higher concentrations of the plant extract resulted in the formation of spherical Au, Ag, and Au-Ag alloy NPs. The as-prepared Au, Ag, and Au-Ag bimetallic NPs showed morphology and composition dependent catalytic activity for the reduction of 4-nitrophenol (4-NPh) to 4-aminophenol (4-APh) in the presence of NaBH4. The bimetallic Au-Ag alloy NPs showed the highest catalytic activity compared to all other NPs.
Project description:Multi-metallic alloy nanoparticles (NPs) can offer tunable or modifiable localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) properties depending upon their configurational and elemental alterations, which can be utilized in various applications, that is, in photon energy harvesting, optical sensing, biomedical imaging, photocatalysis, and spectroscopy. In this work, a systematic investigation on the morphological and LSPR properties of multi-metallic alloy NPs incorporating Ag, Au, Pd, and Pt is presented on c-plane sapphire (0001). The resulting NPs exhibit much enhanced and tunable LSPR bands in the UV-VIS wavelength as compared to the previously reported mono-metallic NPs based on the considerable improvement in size and shape of nanostructures along with the electronic heterogeneity. Solid-state dewetting of sputtered bilayers (Ag/Pt), tri-layers (Ag/Au/Pt), and quad-layers (Ag/Au/Pd/Pt) is employed to demonstrate a wide variety of configurations, sizes, densities, and elemental compositions of Pt, AgPt, AuPt, AgAuPt, AgAuPt, and AgAuPdPt NPs by the systematic control of annealing temperature and deposition schemes. The distinct morphology and elemental composition of surface nanostructures are obtained by means of surface diffusion, intermixing, and surface/interface energy minimization along with the applied thermal energy. In addition, the sublimation of Ag atoms from the alloy nanostructure matrix significantly influences the structural, elemental, and thus optical properties of NPs by reducing the average size and Ag percentage in the alloy NPs. Based on the specific size, shape, and elemental composition of NPs, the excitation of LSPR is correlated to the dipolar, quadrupolar, multi-polar, and higher order (HO) modes along with the finite difference time domain simulation of local electric-field. The LSPR intensity is generally stronger with a higher percentage of Ag atoms in the alloy NPs and gradually diminished by the sublimation loss. However, even the mono-metallic and alloy NPs without Ag exhibited significantly improved and dynamic nature of plasmonic bands in the UV and VIS wavelength.
Project description:Noble metal nanoparticles (NPs) such as silver (Ag) and gold (Au) have unique plasmonic properties that give rise to surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Generally, Ag NPs have much stronger plasmonic properties and, hence, provide stronger SERS signals than Au NPs. However, Ag NPs lack the chemical stability and biocompatibility of comparable Au NPs and typically exhibit the most intense plasmonic resonance at wavelengths much shorter than the optimal spectral region for many biomedical applications. To overcome these issues, various experimental efforts have been devoted to the synthesis of Ag/Au hybrid NPs for the purpose of SERS detections. However, a complete understanding on how the SERS enhancement depends on the chemical composition and structure of these nanoparticles has not been achieved. In this study, Mie theory and the discrete dipole approximation have been used to calculate the plasmonic spectra and near-field electromagnetic enhancements of Ag/Au hybrid NPs. In particular, we discuss how the electromagnetic enhancement depends on the mole fraction of Au in Ag/Au alloy NPs and how one may use extinction spectra to distinguish between Ag/Au alloyed NPs and Ag-Au core-shell NPs. We also show that for incident laser wavelengths between ∼410 nm and 520 nm, Ag/Au alloyed NPs provide better electromagnetic enhancement than pure Ag, pure Au, or Ag-Au core-shell structured NPs. Finally, we show that silica-core Ag/Au alloy shelled NPs provide even better performance than pure Ag/Au alloy or pure solid Ag and pure solid Au NPs. The theoretical results presented will be beneficial to the experimental efforts in optimizing the design of Ag/Au hybrid NPs for SERS-based detection methods.
Project description:Colloidal nanoparticles (NPs) with myriads of compositions and morphologies have been synthesized and characterized in recent years. For wüstite Fe x O, however, obtaining phase-pure NPs with homogeneous morphologies have remained challenging. Herein, we report the colloidal synthesis of phase-pure Fe x O (x ? 0.94) popcorn-shaped NPs by decomposition of a single-source precursor, [Fe3(?3-O)(CF3COO)(?-CF3COO)6(H2O)2]·CF3COOH. The popcorn shape and multigrain structure had been reconstructed using high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron micrograph (HAADF-STEM) tomography. This morphology offers a large surface area and internal channels and prevents further agglomeration and thermal tumbling of the subparticles. [Fe3(?3-O)(CF3COO)(?-CF3COO)6(H2O)2]·CF3COOH behaves as an antiferromagnetic triangle whose magnetic frustration is mitigated by the low symmetry of the complex. The popcorn-shaped Fe x O NPs show the typical wüstite antiferromagnetic transition at approximately 200 K, but behave very differently to their bulk counterpart below 200 K. The magnetization curves show a clear, unsymmetrical hysteresis, which arises from a combined effect of the superparamagnetic behavior and exchange bias.
Project description:Multi-metallic alloy nanoparticles (MNPs) can offer valuable opportunities to meet the various demands of applications. MNPs consist of various noble metallic elements can combine diverse electronic, optical and catalytic properties in a single NP configuration, thus taking the advantage of each element. In this paper, the fabrication of tri- and quad- metallic alloy NPs with noble elements (Ag, Au, Pd and Pt) and the corresponding localized surface plasmon resonance (LPSR) properties are systematically demonstrated. Tri- and quad-metallic alloy NPs come in various size and configurations by the solid-state dewetting of Ag/Au/Pd/Pt quad-layers on sapphire (0001). Tri-metallic AuPdPt NPs are demonstrated by the systematic control of growth temperature along with the significant Ag atom sublimation. Strongly enhanced and tunable LPSR is exerted in the UV-VIS regions depending upon the size, configuration, spacing and elemental composition of the MNPs. The size dependent LSPR response of MNPs is discussed based on the absorption and scattering along with the excitation of dipolar, quadrupolar, high order and multipolar resonance modes. The MNPs exhibit much stronger and dynamic LSPR bands as compared with the monometallic Pt and Pd NPs with the comparable size and configurations.
Project description:Advances in nanotechnology provide opportunities for the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. While physicochemical properties of Ag containing nanoparticles (NPs) are known to influence the magnitude of their toxicity, it is thought that nanosilver can be made less toxic to eukaryotes by passivation of the NPs with a benign metal. Moreover, the addition of other noble metals to silver nanoparticles, in the alloy formulation, is known to alter the silver dissolution behavior. Thus, we synthesized glutathione capped Ag/Au alloy bimetallic nanoparticles (NPs) via the galvanic replacement reaction between maltose coated Ag NPs and chloroauric acid (HAuCl4) in 5% aqueous triblock F127 copolymer solution. We then compared the antibacterial activity of the Ag/Au NPs to pure Ag NPs on Porphyromonas gingivalis W83, a key pathogen in the development of periodontal disease. Only partially oxidized glutathione capped Ag and Ag/Au (Au:Ag?0.2) NPs inhibited the planktonic growth of P. gingivalis W83. This effect was enhanced in the presence of hydrogen peroxide, which simulates the oxidative stress environment in the periodontal pocket during chronic inflammation.
Project description:The use of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) is widespread owing to their high power conversion efficiency (PCE) and low cost of manufacturing. We prepared multi-shaped Ag nanoparticles (NPs) and introduced them into DSSCs to further enhance their PCE. The maximum absorption wavelength of the multi-shaped Ag NPs is 420 nm, including the shoulder with a full width at half maximum (FWHM) of 121 nm. This is a broad absorption wavelength compared to spherical Ag NPs, which have a maximum absorption wavelength of 400 nm without the shoulder of 61 nm FWHM. Therefore, when multi-shaped Ag NPs with a broader plasmon-enhanced absorption were coated on a mesoporous TiO? layer on a layer-by-layer structure in DSSCs, the PCE increased from 8.44% to 10.22%, equivalent to an improvement of 21.09% compared to DSSCs without a plasmonic layer. To confirm the plasmon-enhanced effect on the composite film structure in DSSCs, the PCE of DSSCs based on the composite film structure with multi-shaped Ag NPs increased from 8.58% to 10.34%, equivalent to an improvement of 20.51% compared to DSSCs without a plasmonic layer. This concept can be applied to perovskite solar cells, hybrid solar cells, and other solar cells devices.
Project description:Very small metallic nanostructures, i.e., plasmonic nanoparticles (NPs), can demonstrate the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) effect, a characteristic of the strong light absorption, scattering and localized electromagnetic field via the collective oscillation of surface electrons upon on the excitation by the incident photons. The LSPR of plasmonic NPs can significantly improve the photoresponse of the photodetectors. In this work, significantly enhanced photoresponse of UV photodetectors is demonstrated by the incorporation of various plasmonic NPs in the detector architecture. Various size and elemental composition of monometallic Ag and Au NPs, as well as bimetallic alloy AgAu NPs, are fabricated on GaN (0001) by the solid-state dewetting approach. The photoresponse of various NPs are tailored based on the geometric and elemental evolution of NPs, resulting in the highly enhanced photoresponsivity of 112 A W<sup>-1</sup>, detectivity of 2.4 × 10<sup>12</sup> Jones and external quantum efficiency of 3.6 × 10<sup>4</sup>% with the high Ag percentage of AgAu alloy NPs at a low bias of 0.1 V. The AgAu alloy NP detector also demonstrates a fast photoresponse with the relatively short rise and fall time of less than 160 and 630 ms, respectively. The improved photoresponse with the AgAu alloy NPs is correlated with the simultaneous effect of strong plasmon absorption and scattering, increased injection of hot electrons into the GaN conduction band and reduced barrier height at the alloy NPs/GaN interface.
Project description:A solid-phase photochemical method produces Au-Ag alloy nanoparticles (NPs) with a sharp size distribution and varying composition in AgBr crystals (Au-Ag@AgBr). These features render Au-Ag@AgBr promising as a material for the plasmonic photocatalyst further to provide a possibility of elucidating the action mechanism due to the optical tunability. This study shows that the visible-light activity of Au-Ag@AgBr for degradation of model water pollutant is very sensitive to the alloy composition with a maximum at the mole percent of Au to all Ag in AgBr (y)?=?0.012 mol%. Clear positive correlation is observed between the photocatalytic activity and the quality factor defined as the ratio of the peak energy to the full width at half maximum of the localized surface plasmon resonance band. This finding indicates that Au-Ag@AgBr works as a local electromagnetic field enhancement-type plasmonic photocatalyst in which the Au-Ag NPs mainly promotes the charge separation. This conclusion was further supported by the kinetic analysis of the light intensity-dependence of external quantum yield.
Project description:Plasmon-assisted energy conversion is investigated in a comparative study of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) equipped with photo-anodes, which are fabricated by forming gold (Au) and silver (Ag) nanoparticles (NPs) on an fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) glass surface by means of dry plasma reduction (DPR) and coating TiO? paste onto the modified FTO glass through a screen printing method. As a result, the FTO/Ag-NPs/TiO? photo-anode showed an enhancement of its photocurrent, whereas the FTO/Au-NPs/TiO? photo-anode showed less photocurrent than even a standard photo-anode fabricated by simply coating TiO? paste onto the modified FTO glass through screen printing. This result stems from the small size and high areal number density of Au-NPs on FTO glass, which prevent the incident light from reaching the TiO? layer.