A Caltech Library Service

The photoelectrochemistry of solution grown zinc oxide nanowire arrays


Fitch, Anthony G. (2011) The photoelectrochemistry of solution grown zinc oxide nanowire arrays. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


ZnO nanowire arrays were synthesized by a simple wet chemical method, and the effects of substrate, solution composition, and time on the attributes of the wire arrays were explored. Optimized wire arrays were used as photoanodes for water oxidation and in dye-sensitized solar cells with fast redox couples. The results for the wire arrays as photoanodes for water oxidation were compared to single crystals. Both ZnO electrodes exhibited poor cathodic kinetics with the aqueous solution, resulting in a non-ideal behavior of the semiconductor-liquid junction and substantial losses in the fill factor. Surprisingly, the wire arrays approached the efficiency of the single crystal, 0.18% vs 0.22% respectively. In the dye senitized solar cell, the ZnO nanowires developed a Schottky junction and allowed the use of fast redox couples. Unfortunately, the efficiencies measured were low, but results suggest the potential for substantial gains in the efficiency and versatility of the dye-sensitized solar cell.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:ZnO; Zinc Oxide; Water Oxidation; Solar Cell; Dye Sensitized Solar Cell; Semiconductor Liquid Junctions
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Major Option:Chemistry
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Lewis, Nathan Saul
Thesis Committee:
  • Gray, Harry B. (chair)
  • Okumura, Mitchio
  • Brunschwig, Bruce S.
  • Lewis, Nathan Saul
Defense Date:4 August 2010
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:02212011-102830400
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6250
Deposited By: Anthony Fitch
Deposited On:17 May 2011 22:58
Last Modified:18 Jan 2013 00:40

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page