|Institution:||Arkansas State University|
|Keywords:||Electrical engineering; Environmental science; Materials science|
|Full text PDF:||http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10638267|
Environmental sustainability requires resource management that takes future generations into account. The present generation has witnessed changes across the planet, unprecedented in human history and disrupting communities and cities around the world, due to shifting global climate. This is primarily the result of fossil fuels, which powered modern civilization but dramatically increased levels of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and may be the least sustainable aspect of human civilization. Chapter 1 justifies the research from an environmental perspective and provides initial research parameters. Thin film photovoltaic (PV) modules are reported the most sustainable among energy production technologies currently available. Electrodeposited PV layers offer significant improvement to sustainability metrics over current thin film production methods, at reduced cost, but have rarely been demonstrated on an industrial scale. Quasi-rest potential (QRP) ultimately led to large-scale, electrodeposited thin film CdTe modules. An in-situ material characterization technique that allows adjustment of the deposition voltage (Vdep) to match the exact experimental conditions, QRP enabled precise control of deposit stoichiometry and crystallinity. Chapter 2 discusses theory and literature regarding QRP, and introduces the open-circuit voltage transient (Voc T), developed by the present research for analyzing QRP as a function of both Vdep and time. VocT data from a CdTe ethylene glycol bath matches details and speculations from the literature. Although predicted to have wide applicability, experimental QRP data have never been published for compounds unrelated to CdTe. Chapter 3 discusses VocTs performed in pursuit of electrodeposited CuInS2, demonstrating functionality as a QRP scan in a variety of ethylene glycol solutions. Stoichiometries of deposited films were improved by using the V ocT to determine appropriate plating voltages. VocTs enabled QRP, in-situ rest potential (EM2), and current simultaneously vs Vdep and correlated with cyclic voltammetry experiments. Films approaching stoichiometric CuInS2 were generally obtained around -1 V vs Ag/AgCl, just noble of onset of metallic indium deposition, with a QRP around -0.8 V and EM2 between -0.55 V and -0.6 V. Sulfur content of deposited films could also be significantly increased during deposition using open-circuit techniques based on VocT data. Serendipitous production of large copper sulfide nanowires is briefly discussed.