Graphene and Semicondutor or Metallic Nanoparticles for Energy Conversion

Mazzaro, Raffaello (2016) Graphene and Semicondutor or Metallic Nanoparticles for Energy Conversion, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Chimica, 28 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5987.
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The purpose of the present PhD thesis is to investigate the properties of innovative nano- materials with respect to the conversion of renewable energies to electrical and chemical energy. The materials have been synthesized and characterized by means of a wide spectrum of morphological, compositional and photophysical techniques, in order to get an insight into the correlation between the properties of each material and the activity towards different energy conversion applications. Two main topics are addressed: in the first part of the thesis the light harvesting in pyrene functionalized silicon nanocrystals has been discussed, suggesting an original approach to suc- cessfully increase the absorption properties of these nanocrystals. The interaction of these nanocrystals was then studied, in order to give a deeper insight on the charge and energy extraction, preparing the way to implement SiNCs as active material in optoelectronic devices and photovoltaic cells. In addition to this, the luminescence of SiNCs has been exploited to increase the efficiency of conventional photovoltaic cells by means of two innovative architectures. Specifically, SiNCs has been used as luminescent downshifting layer in dye sensitized solar cells, and they were shown to be very promising light emitters in luminescent solar concentrators. The second part of the thesis was concerned on the production of hydrogen by platinum nanoparticles coupled to either electro-active or photo-active materials. Within this context, the electrocatalytic activity of platinum nanoparticles supported on exfoliated graphene has been studied, preparing an high-efficiency catalyst and disclosing the role of the exfoliation technique towards the catalytic activity. Furthermore, platinum nanoparticles have been synthesized within photoactive dendrimers, providing the first proof of concept of a dendrimer-based photocatalytic system for the hydrogen production where both sensitizer and catalyst are anchored to a single scaffold.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Mazzaro, Raffaello
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze chimiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Graphene, Silicon nanocrystals, Dendrimers, Platinum nanoparticles, TEM, Photophysics.
Data di discussione
10 Maggio 2016

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