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Lead selenide nanowire solar cells via LPNE and its new found derivatives


Solar energy has yet to break into the mainstream market mainly due to its elevated cost relative to its competitors. I introduce the ability to use lithographically patterned nanowire electrodeposition (LPNE), a cost-effective nanowire growth method developed by the Penner group in 2006, to fabricate PbSe nanowires as a base for solar cells. I then transition into demonstrating how LPNE can be amended to permit for high density nanowire fabrication on the order of 50 nm pitch, resulting in a significantly larger device density compared to traditional LPNE. Next, I will illustrate successful fabrication of solar cells based on PbSe and how high density LPNE has shown the potential ability to increase the efficiency of the device due to nanoscale phenomena. I conclude with two systematic routes for future improvement to the device which are already underway. Consequently there exists the potential that an improved solar cell based on these methods could compete as a cost-effective energy source.

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