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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Synthesis of nanowires for regenerative energy cells

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.09.05  Engineering sciences and technologies  Electronic components and technologies  Vacuum technologies 

Code Science Field
T140  Technological sciences  Energy research 

Code Science Field
2.10  Engineering and Technology  Nano-technology 
Keywords
plasma, synthesis, nanowires, energy, energy cells
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (12)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  22289  PhD Uroš Cvelbar  Electronic components and technologies  Head  2011 - 2014  730 
2.  26476  PhD Aleksander Drenik  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2011 - 2014  700 
3.  29520  PhD Kristina Eleršič Filipič  Biochemistry and molecular biology  Researcher  2011 - 2014  96 
4.  33330  PhD Gregor Filipič  Electronic components and technologies  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  129 
5.  18635  Tatjana Filipič    Technical associate  2011 - 2014  24 
6.  24984  Valentin Koblar  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2011 - 2014  13 
7.  21019  Ludvik Kumar  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2011 - 2014  22 
8.  27730  Andrej Likar  Manufacturing technologies and systems  Researcher  2011 - 2014 
9.  10429  PhD Miran Mozetič  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2011 - 2014  1,356 
10.  09105  Borut Praček  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2011 - 2012  113 
11.  20048  PhD Alenka Vesel  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2011 - 2014  695 
12.  31618  PhD Rok Zaplotnik  Electronic components and technologies  Researcher  2013 - 2014  313 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  91,408 
2.  1682  KOLEKTOR MOBILITY Upravljanje naložb d.o.o. (Slovene)  Idrija  5034558  250 
Abstract
Metal oxide nanowire arrays on metal substrates are interesting for various electrochemical and photoelectrochemical applications in energy conversion. Additionally, the lack of oxygen atoms in nanostructures of metal oxides can be used for tailoring electronic properties of the structure in order to modify adsorption of light quanta and to transfer the charge through the nanowire. In this view, plasma oxidation of metal foils provides a unique possibility for large scale vertical growth of nanowire arrays on metal surfaces as well as synthesis of nanostructures with oxygen vacancies, which can be achieved by changing plasma parameters in a controlled manner. The project is focused on plasma synthesis of various metal oxides nanowires (predominantly ?-Fe2O3, Cr2O3, CuO2, MoO3 in V2O5) and testing their properties in regenerative energy cell applications, like dye-sensitized solar cells or cells for photoelectrochemical splitting of water molecules In more detail, the main focus of the research will be based on synthesis of new metal oxide nanowire arrays in low-temperature oxygen plasma under controlled plasma parameters and their applications in photoelectrochemical cells. With this aim, we will extensively study the role of plasma parameters (e.g. density of electrons, neutral atoms, excited molecules and photons) on the nanowire synthesis from metal substrates such as chrome, iron, copper and vanadium. In addition, we will grow nano systems also on flexible surfaces with plasma vapour deposition or from thin metal films. The modifications of surface morphology and characteristics of nanostructures, synthesised under different plasma conditions, will be studied as well. We will try to find the deterministic rules for nanowire growth in oxygen plasma. Synthesised metal oxides nanostructures (like ?-Fe2O3, Cr2O3, CuO2 in V2O5) will be used in the regenerative energy cells. The structures will be used as electrodes for photoelectrochemical cells which adsorb sun light and enable splitting of water molecules and thus production of fuel gases (oxygen and hydrogen) as well as for dye-sensitized solar cells. The research will be followed by development of new electrochemical cells for energy conversion, which are based on metal oxide nanowire arrays on metal substrates that were synthesised in oxygen plasma. In addition, it is worth mentioning that our Slovenian industrial partners are interested in development of these devices.
Significance for science
Research of direct growth of large scale nanowire arrays on metallic or conducting surfaces, when exposed to reactive oxygen plasma is the new emerging topic. This process enables preparation of abundant quantity of nanowires in short time scales. This might represent a bridge between basic research and transition to industrial applications, since bulk quantities of nanowires are available. With this aim, we researched nanowire growth in plasma and determined which plasma parameters play important role in their growth. Systematic studies demonstrated that changing the density of neutral atoms and flux of ions as well as electrical potential on the substrate determines the growth properties and dynamics of nanowires. With this, we gain new deterministic conclusions on plasma conditions needed for growth of nanowires and its description. Extreme novelty and top scientific achievement is our determination of energy band gap alternation with electron beam irradiation of nanowires. In this process, the nanowires become also ultra-nano-porous as a result of oxygen atom relaxation from crystalline structure of metal oxide. Moreover, we gain new knowledge on modifications of metal oxide with nitrogen or sulphite doping, which occurs via exchange of oxygen atoms in the material. Based on obtained and modified nanowire materials, we managed to prepare operational fotoelectrocatalytic cell for water splitting with good output. From large number of results, we expect more publications in near future as well as patent protection for nanowire conversion processing.
Significance for the country
The direct impact of finished project to Slovenia development is for our industrial partner, the development of new technologies and products, which will in the near future drive the market of new devices and technologies. This field definitely covers new nanomaterials like the nanowires of metal oxides, when acquired in large-bulk quantities. With this project, the company gain new knowledge and processing methods for modifications of materials and synthesis of nanostructures in their own plasma reactors. This is highly important in their line of work during manufacturing of semi-products like composites, where such large quantities of nanomaterial can present competitive advantage. Moreover, the company gained also new insides into development of new applications like cells for water splitting, which use renewable energy resources. This might be important in development of their own new products, since first testing cells proved successful. The company assessed that only such research policy can lead to higher value added products and preservation of jobs in their own companies in Slovenia.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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