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PhD Final Oral Examination – Brian Pelatt


Wednesday, June 12, 2013 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Atomic Solid State Energy Scale Applied to Novel Thin-Film Solar Cell Absorbers
The atomic solid state energy (SSE) scale is introduced as a tool for inorganic materials design. The SSE scale is obtained by assessing an average EA (for a cation) or an average IP (for an anion) for each atom using data from compounds having that specific atom as a constituent. When EA and IP of the 135 compounds within the SSE data base are plotted as a function of the band gap (EG), EG is roughly centered about the hydrogen donor / acceptor ionization energy ε(+/-), at an energy of -4.5 eV with respect to the vacuum level. Thus, ε(+/-), or equivalently the standard hydrogen electrode (SHE) energy, functions as an absolute energy reference for establishing the chemical bonding behavior for solid state inorganic compounds. SSE values are estimated for 60 elements from s-, p-, d- and f-blocks of the periodic table. The SSE scale is shown to be related to electronegativity, chemical hardness, and ionicity and to provide insight into the nature of multivalent elemental behavior, semiconductor impurity doping, and solid state chemical bonding.

As an example of its utility, the SSE scale is employed as a screening tool for selecting elements for thin-film solar cell (TFSC) absorber applications. Thin-film synthesis and electrical/optical characterization of FeS2, Fe2GeS4, Fe2SiS4, CuSbS2, Cu3SbS4, and MnSe2 is undertaken to in order to investigate their potential as TFSC absorbers. These studies indicate that low-valence cation, Cu-based absorbers, such as CuSbS2 and Cu3SbS4, appear promising for TFSC absorber applications.

Major Advisor: John Wager
Committee: Tom Plant
Committee: Ted Brekken
Committee: Doug Keszler
GCR: Roger Nielsen 


Kelley Engineering Center (campus map)
1007
Nicole Thompson
1 541 737 3617
Nicole.Thompson at oregonstate.edu
Sch Elect Engr/Comp Sci
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