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dc.contributor.advisor Liu, Jie en_US
dc.contributor.author Yang, Sungwoo en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2012-01-10T15:59:28Z
dc.date.available 2013-12-30T05:30:08Z
dc.date.issued 2011 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10161/5014
dc.description Dissertation en_US
dc.description.abstract <p>Currently, fossil fuels and nuclear power are our primary energy sources. However, both have critical disadvantages due to the limited supply and the hazard issues. Renewable energy research becomes one of most important research topics in the 21st century. Nanostructured materials show unique electrochemical properties in various energy conversion or storage devices. This dissertation starts with fundamental optical studies of nanomaterials (carbon nanotubes), followed by synthesizing novel nanomaterials for energy conversion (solar cells) and storage (lithium ion batteries) devices. </p><p> (1) There is an on-going debate concerning the ability of double walled carbon nanotubes (DWNTs) to exhibit photoluminescence (PL). We aim to clearly resolve this debate through the study of carefully separated DWNTs using density gradient ultra-centrifugation (DGU). Here, we clearly show that light is emitted from the inner wall of DWNTs. Interestingly, it was found that a very narrow range of diameters of the inner walls of DWNTs is required for photoluminescence (PL) to be observable. All other diameters led to complete PL quenching in DWNTs. (2) Inexpensive dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) on flexible plastic substrates have a bright future, but they require low temperature annealing (< 200°C). The method to fabricate low temperature DSSCs should resolve poor electron transfer between titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles (NPs) due to their incomplete contiguity and insulating layer of organic residues from binders in the photoactive film. Here, we have developed uniform CNTs/TiO2 composites for low temperature DSSCs by using modified sol gel method. DSSCs were fabricated to study incorporating functionalized few walled carbon nanotubes (f-FWNTs) effect on TiO2 NPs. Incorporating f-FWNTs can be beneficial for the low temperature annealing process of DSSCs to overcome extremely poor electron transport through TiO2 photoactive film. Incorporating f-FWNTs with TiO2 active layer improves electrons transport in some degree, but this advantage is limited. (3) Conductive fillers, such as amorphous carbon, carbon nanotube and graphene, have been mixed with nanostructured metal oxide materials to improve the performance of electrode materials in energy storage devices. However, ineffective junctions between conductive fillers are limiting the overall conductivity of the electrode. Therefore, we developed a convenient, inexpensive and scalable method for synthesizing hybrid carbon and titanium dioxide (C/TiO2) co-gels and co-aerogels to improve their electrochemical capacity in lithium ions batteries (LIBs). The monolith of the hybrid C/TiO2 co-aerogel can be directly used as active electrodes without the addition of binders. As a result, the capacitance of LIB anodes using the hybrid co-aerogel is significantly improved over current LIBs based on carbon/titanium oxide composite. Other metal oxides could also form co-gels with carbon to improve their potentials in numerous electrochemical, photocatalytic, and photoelectronic devices.</p> en_US
dc.subject Chemistry en_US
dc.subject Materials Science en_US
dc.subject Aerogel en_US
dc.subject Double walled carbon nanotubes en_US
dc.subject Dye sensitized solar cells en_US
dc.subject Lithium ion battereis en_US
dc.subject Photoluminescence en_US
dc.subject Sol-Gel en_US
dc.title Photoluminescence from Inner Walls in Double-Walled Carbon Nanotubes and Hybrid Carbon/Titanium Dioxide Gels for Energy Conversion and Storage Applications en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.department Chemistry en_US
duke.embargo.months 24 en_US

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