291833 The Effect of Rare Earth Metal Doped Titanium Dioxide On Photovoltaic Cell Performance

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Brian Lynch, Chemical Engineering, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA

Rare earth metal doped titanium dioxide was analyzed in comparison to titanium dioxide in regards to its effectiveness at generating power in a photovoltaic cell.  Rare earth metal doping has proven to increase the photocatalytic activity of titanium dioxide and it was thought that this property would translate to a greater efficiency when working with a solar cell.  Holmium, erbium, and europium-doped titanium dioxide as well as titanium dioxide were synthesized via an acid-catalyzed sol-gel method.  Each were characterized and analyzed with x-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques to confirm the structure of the material.  The model cell being used was constructed using indium-doped tin oxide glass plates rated at 7 ohms/square.  The glass was coated with a conductive silver paint to give it conductive properties so as to allow for easy electron mobility through the cell.  Each cell was subject to one sun and one-half sun equivalent light radiation using a halogen lamp and by means of a variable resistor, IV curves were generated.  IV analysis shows that rare earth metal-doped cells proved to produce more power as compared to the cells containing only titanium dioxide thus confirming the hypothesis.  The properties exhibited in photocatalytic activity seem to carry over to increase the power output of the cell.

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