Metal nanowire films as transparent conducting oxide replacement and plasmonic absorption enhancement
Nanowires formed at the solution-substrate interface using the Markovich technique could be used as a semi-conductive layer in PV cells as well as in various other applications.
The Markovich Group is working on a transparent electrode for photovoltaic (PV) cells employing a technique they developed themselves for preparing ultra-thin gold/silver nanowire mesh films using a simple self-assembly process.
The uniqueness of this process lies in the in-situ deposit of the nanowires while their precursors are self-assembling on the surface. This as compared to other competing techniques which are based on the spreading of prefabricated metal nanorods or carbon nanotubes on graphene sheets.
With the Markovich technique the nanowires are formed at the solution-substrate interface, establishing sound electrical contact with the substrate and could thus be used as one of the PV cell’s semi-conductive layers. The team is currently exploring, in addition to PV cells, a number of other applications requiring transparent conductors.
Such nanowires could also be used for the plasmonic enhancement of light absorption on the surfaces of species such as molecules, polymers and semiconductor nanoparticles.
The Markovich Group is also engaged in a separate study for the plasmonic enhancement of light absorption in various biological molecular systems such as photosynthetic proteins.
The Group has already demonstrated a 100 fold absorption enhancement in model molecules using silver nanoparticles.