Summary: Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are two-dimensionally confined quantum wires that have the potential to impact a variety of...
Summary: Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) are two-dimensionally confined quantum wires that have the potential to impact a variety of renewable energy applications. SWCNTs have several fundamental properties that make them attractive for sustainable energy conversion technologies, including high electron and hole mobilities, size-tunable ionization potentials and electron affinities in an energy range relevant to many photovoltaic devices, and optical transitions in the visible and near-infrared spectral regions. Additionally, they possess numerous properties amenable to practical, scalable, and economic device fabrication including abundant source material, a natural disposition for solution processing, high surface area for efficient charge transfer, and flexibility. Current projects in our group are aimed at understanding the functionality of SWCNTs in energy conversion technologies where the nanotubes are used to collect and transport charges, and how this functionality varies with SWCNT electronic structure. This presentation will cover some important fundamental photo-physics of SWCNTs and some energy conversion applications we are exploring at NREL. These include the use of SWCNT thin films as transparent conducting electrodes for photovoltaics, SWCNTs as electron acceptors in organic photovoltaics, and SWCNT bio-hybrid electrodes for hydrogen fuel production.
About Jeff Blackburn: Dr. Jeff Blackburn graduated from Wake Forest University in 1999 with a B.S. in chemistry, and from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2003 with a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry. Following a post-doctoral research position at NREL, he became a staff member in 2007 and works on a variety of projects focused on both fundamental and applied research topics. His primary research interests are charge separation and transport in nanoscale systems, the fundamental photo-physics and device applications of single-walled carbon nanotubes and graphene, photovoltaics, solar fuels, and hydrogen fuel utilization.