ChBE Seminar Series: Matthew A. Tarr
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Room 2110 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Professor Panagiotis Dimitrakopoulos
Nanocomposite Materials for Photovoltaic and Biomedical Applications
Matthew A. Tarr
Professor and Chair
Analytical Chemistry & Environmental Studies
Department of Chemistry
University of New Orleans
Nanomaterials exhibit a number of unique properties, providing an ability to make new materials and devices with higher performance. For photovoltaic applications, nanomaterials can provide several enhancements. Two important areas in photovoltaics that can be improved by the use of nanomaterials are light harvesting ability and charge carrier transport ability. Photovoltaic devices have two conflicting restraints: 1) thick materials are needed to absorb as much light as possible and 2) thin materials are needed to improve charge carrier transport. We have prepared a number of high aspect ratio core-shell nanomaterials that provide long path lengths for light absorbance while maintaining short distances that charge carriers must cross to provide current. A thin shell of titanium dioxide coated on a high aspect ratio metal nanowire provides these characteristics in novel dye sensitized solar cells that we have prepared. For biomedical applications, nanomaterials can provide a number of desired properties, including small size and biocompatibility. We have investigated a number of nanomaterials for biomedical applications such as detection of breast cancer and other biomarkers, probing membrane processes, and targeted drug delivery.