Rolf Konenkamp

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 82 p.) : ill. (some col.)


Cadmium selenide, Nanowires, Zinc oxide, Hybrid solar cells -- Design and construction, Energy conversion, Photovoltaic cells -- Materials, Photovoltaic power generation, Nanostructured materials -- Electric properties




Traditional sources of electrical energy are finite and can produce significant pollution. Solar cells produce clean energy from incident sunlight, and will be an important part of our energy future. A new nanostructured extremely thin absorber solar cell with 0.98% power conversion efficiency and maximum external quantum efficiency of 61% at 650 nm has been fabricated and characterized. This solar cell is composed of a fluorine-doped tin oxide base layer, n-type aluminum doped zinc oxide nanowires, a cadmium selenide absorber layer, poly(3-hexylthiophene) as a p-type layer, and thermally evaporated gold as a back contact. Zinc oxide nanowire electrodeposition has been investigated for different electrical environments, and the role of a zinc oxide thin film layer has been established. Cadmium selenide nanoparticles have been produced and optimized in-house and compared to commercially produced nanoparticles. Argon plasma cleaning has been investigated as a method to improve electronic behavior at cadmium selenide interfaces. The thermal anneal process for cadmium selenide nanoparticles has been studied, and a laser anneal process has been investigated. It has been found that the most efficient solar cells in this study are produced with a zinc oxide thin film, zinc oxide nanowires grown under constant -1V bias between the substrate material and the anode, cadmium selenide nanoparticles purchased commercially and annealed for 24 hours in the presence of cadmium chloride, and high molecular weight poly(3-hexylthiophene) spin-coated in a nitrogen environment.


Portland State University. Dept. of Physics

Persistent Identifier