Date of Award

1-1-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Mohammad A. Matin

Keywords

MEMS, microfabrication, NEMS, photoelectrochemical, solar cell, wet etching

Abstract

This thesis presents fabrication and characterization of a small scale photo-electro-chemical (PEC) solar cell.

The cell consists of a p-type silicon cathode with an etched micro-cavity that houses the zinc chloride electrolyte solution, and the cavity is covered by a sheet of zinc acting as the anode. The cell operates using a semiconductor-electrolyte junction instead of the p-n junction of a conventional solid state solar cell. The silicon electrode is fabricated by controlled wet etching so that the bottom of the micro-cavity becomes a very thin membrane, which allows photons to penetrate and reach the semiconductor-electrolyte interface for the generation of excess electron-hole pairs. The separation of the excess charge carriers by the junction built-in electric field results in a photopotential across the semiconductor-electrolyte junction.

Silicon electrodes with different membrane sizes were successfully fabricated in the Nano-Electro-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) lab at the University of Denver. The electrical characteristics of the PEC solar cells were obtained and will be discussed in this thesis.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Xin Li

File size

79 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Electrical engineering

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