Solar Energy Conversion: Bio-Inspired Catalysts vs Photovoltaic Devices
Özlen Ferruh Erdem
Abstract: The search for environmentally benign energy sources and efficient energy storage materials remains a primary focus of scientists from various disciplines and backgrounds. Nature has devised complex systems such as enzymes that capture and store energy in different forms. There are several (chemical and biological) approaches to obtain catalytic systems which require costly machinery, rendering them inefficient on the level of the recent energy demand. Photovoltaic devices which convert sun light into electrical energy serves as a crucial way of producing sustainable alternative energy. In this talk, I will present our recent work on characterization of a-) bio-inspired catalysts and b-) boron doped poly-Si thin films fabricated by means of effusion cell equipped electron-beam evaporation technique followed by solid-phase, aluminum-induced and laser crystallization. In addition to typical characterization methods (Raman Spectroscopy, Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy, X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, Grazing Incidence X-ray Diffraction), since it gives the chance to study different mechanisms with coherent spin control, we have employed Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy to investigate and control the solar cell efficiency challenges. Change in the quantitatively-evaluated unpaired electrons due to defect centers in poly-Si thin films will be discussed. Ultimately, we aim to optimize defect centers (dangling bonds, oxygen vacancies, interphase defects, etc.) in the electronic structure and design an efficient solar cell.