Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

James McLeskey

Second Advisor

Curtis Taylor

Third Advisor

Gary Tepper

Fourth Advisor

Tarek Trad


In recent years, quasi-one-dimensional materials have attracted a lot of research attention due to their remarkable properties, and their potential as building blocks for nanoscale electronic and optoelectronic devices. A modified chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method has been used to synthesize ZnO nanowires. Electron microscopy and other characterization techniques show that nanowires having distinct morphologies when grown under different conditions. The effects of reaction parameters including reaction time, temperature, carrier gas flow rate, substrates and catalyst material upon the size, shape, and density of ZnO nanowire arrays have been investigated. Excitonic solar cells —including Gratzel-type cells, organic and hybrid organic/inorganic solar cells—are promising devices for inexpensive, large-scale solar energy conversion. Hybrid organic/inorganic solar cells are made from composites of conjugated polymers with nanostructure metal oxides, in which the polymer component serves the function of both light absorber and hole conductor, and the ZnO nanowire arrays act as the electron conductors. Organic solar cells have been fabricated from environmentally friendly water-soluble polymers and ZnO nanowire arrays.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

July 2009

Included in

Engineering Commons