- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Chemical Communications
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- 11597 to 11600
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Iron doped ZnO (Fe-ZnO) nanoparticles were synthesized using two techniques that are economical as well as scalable to yield tunable properties of nanoparticles for facilitating down conversion in an absorbing layer of a solar cell. To evaluate the suitability of Fe-ZnO nanoparticles prepared by two deposition methods, we present a comparison of optical, electrical, and structural properties of Fe-ZnO using several experimental techniques. Structural properties were analyzed using transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD) with Rietveld analysis for extracting information on compositional variations with Fe doping. The chemical composition of nanoparticles was analyzed through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The optical properties of nanoparticles were studied using photoluminescence and UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy. In addition, fluorescence lifetime measurement was also performed to study the changes in an exponential decay of lifetimes. The electrical transport properties of Fe-ZnO were analyzed by impedance spectroscopy. Our studies indicate that ethanol as a solvent in a microwave method would produce smaller nanoparticles up to the size of 11 nm. In contrast, the precipitation method produces secondary phases of Fe2O3 beyond 5% doping. In addition, our studies show that the optical and electrical properties of resulting Fe-ZnO nanoparticles depend on the particle sizes and the synthesis techniques used. These new results provide insight into the role of solvents in fabricating Fe-ZnO nanoparticles by precipitation and microwave methods for photovoltaic and other applications.more » « less
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Nanocrystalline MnFe2O4 has shown promise as a catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in alkaline solutions, but the material has been sparingly studied as highly ordered thin-film catalysts. To examine the role of surface termination and Mn and Fe site occupancy, epitaxial MnFe2O4 and Fe3O4 spinel oxide films were grown on (001)- and (111)-oriented Nb:SrTiO3 perovskite substrates using molecular beam epitaxy and studied as electrocatalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). High-resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) show the synthesis of pure phase materials, while scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) analysis demonstrate island-like growth of (111) surface-terminated pyramids on both (001)- and (111)-oriented substrates, consistent with the literature and attributed to the lattice mismatch between the spinel films and the perovskite substrate. Cyclic voltammograms under a N2 atmosphere revealed distinct redox features for Mn and Fe surface termination based on comparison of MnFe2O4 and Fe3O4. Under an O2 atmosphere, electrocatalytic reduction of oxygen was observed at both Mn and Fe redox features; however, a diffusion-limited current was only achieved at potentials consistent with Fe reduction. This result contrasts with that of nanocrystalline MnFe2O4 reported in the literature where the diffusion-limited current is achieved with Mn-based catalysis. This difference is attributed to a low density of Mn surface termination, as determined by the integration of current from CVs collected under N2, in addition to low conductivity through the MnFe2O4 film due to the degree of inversion. Such low densities are attributed to the synthetic method and island-like growth pattern and highlight challenges in studying ORR catalysis with single-crystal spinel materials.more » « less
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The gene encoding the cyanobacterial ferritin
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