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Nanostructured Photovoltaics for Space Energy Applications


University of Wyoming/NASA Human Exploration & Operations Mission Directorate

In this project we investigate quantum dot sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs) based on nanostructures. Solar cells have long been a crucial component for providing the power necessary for human exploration of space, and in order to meet the future needs of space exploration advanced solar cell technologies are required, which need to be more efficient, lightweight, and cost effective. The use of nanostructured materials presents such a possibility and allows considerable flexibility in optimizing light absorption, carrier separation, and carrier transport in solar cells, thus providing the potential for very high performance solar cells. Wyoming is an energy state, and the University of Wyoming is the only research university in the jurisdiction. The research efforts of this NASA EPSCoR project was not only in line with the state wide energy efforts but also has imprvoed local research infrastructures related to the studies of nanostrucutred materials for energy applications. For example, this project provided funding to accquire a major research equipment, a Cypher Atomic Force Microscopy, which has been used by not only the investigators of this project but also other scientists in the jurisdiction for a variety of research needs. In this project we have studied quantum dot sensitization of metal oxid surfaces. We have also sucessfully sythesized oxide nanowires such as Indium tin oxide (ITO) and Zn2TiO4 nanowires. As examples, Photo 1 shows a scanning electron microscope image of the ITO nanowires, and Photo 2 shows an image of quantum dots deposited on ITO nanowire using the successive ionic layer adsorption and reaction method. These nanostructures will be used in the next generation solar cells to improve their performance.

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Dr. Dionne M. Hernandez-Lugo, NASA Technical Monitor, Glenn Research Center

Wenyong Wang, Science PI, University of Wyoming NASA EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15



EPSCoR Stimuli 2014-15  

NASA Office of Education’s Aerospace Research & Career Development (ARCD) is pleased to release NASA EPSCoR Stimuli, a collection of univers...

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