Particle agglomerated 3-d nanostructures for photon absorption
The main objective of this thesis is to investigate the photon absorption properties of particle agglomerated 3-D structures that are synthesized through femtosecond laser ablation of solids. The size and morphology of these particle agglomerated 3-D structures, which can be tailored through adjusting laser parameters, determine the photon absorption property.
A systematic theoretical and experimental study was performed to identify the effect of lasers on the size of the formed particles. The literature survey showed that the amount of supersaturation influences the growth rate as well as the nucleation rate of vapour condensed nanoparticles. Based on this theory, a mechanism was formed to explain the control of laser parameters over the size of formed particles. Further, a theoretical explanation was proposed from the experimental results for the transition of particle size distribution modals. These proposed mechanisms and explanations show the variation in particle size in the particle agglomerated 3-D nanostructures with laser parameters.
The effect of laser parameters on the formed ring size was studied. Based on the previous studies, a mechanism was proposed for the formation of ring nanoclusters. The laser pulse intensity dependent ponderomotive force was the key force to define the formation of ring nanoclusters. Then the effect of laser parameters on ring size was studied. Structures fabricated on several materials such as graphite, aluminosilicate ceramic, zinc ingot, gold, and titanium were analyzed to show the influence of material properties, laser parameters, and the environmental conditions on the size of ring formed.
The studies performed on the structures showed a minimum absorption of 0.75 A.U. in the bandwidth from UV to IR. The absorption spectrum is much wider compared to existing nanomaterials, such as silicon nanostructures and titanium dioxide nanostructures. To the best of the author’s knowledge, it is a very competitive absorption rate when compared with the previous nanostructures used in photovoltaic conversion. Several features of nanostructures contribute to the enhancement of this light absorption. The special feature of the structure is that ease to fabricate and modify the properties by varying the laser parameters could make it competitive among other nanostructures available for solar cells.