Thesis Project Description:
The DESiRE project aims to study and develop 3rd generation solar cells composed of cubicoidal plasmonic nano-antennas associated with rectifying self-assembled molecular diodes (or rectenna) to directly convert light into DC current. The rectenna architecture proposed in the DESiRE project is composed of an ordered array of silver nano-cubes positioned over a gold metallic film. Such control of the antenna geometry can be achieved by combining top-down and bottom-up processes. Silver nano-cubes functionnalized with dithiol rectifying molecules are self-assembled into an ordered array onto a gold film covered with a polymeric PMMA mask patterned using e-beam lithography or nano-imprint. When illuminated, such a rectenna architecture allows the coupling of a strongly confined plasmon cavity mode between silver nano-cubes and the gold plane. The plasmonic coupling results in an electromagnetic field intensity enhancement up to four orders of magnitude within the cavity, exactly where the rectifying molecules are localized. Then the rectification ratio is enhanced.
Interdisciplinary Research Axis:
Master in Functional Advanced Materials Engineering (FAME), Augsburg University, Germany & University of Bordeaux, France