Chemically Modified Metal Oxide Nanostructures Electrodes for Sensing and Energy Conversion

Abstract: The goal of this thesis is the development of scalable, low cost synthesis of metal oxide nanostructures based electrodes and to correlate the chemical modifications with their energy conversion performance. Methods in energy conversion in this thesis have focused on two aspects; a potentiometric chemical sensor was used to determine the analytical concentration of some components of the analyte solution such as dopamine, glucose and glutamate molecules. The second aspect is to fabricate a photo-electrochemical (PEC) cell. The biocompatibility, excellent electro-catalytic activities and fast electron transfer kinetics accompanied with a high surface area to volume ratio; are properties of some metal oxide nanostructures that of a potential for their use in energy conversion. Furthermore, metal oxide nanostructures based electrode can effectively be improved by the physical or a chemical modification of electrode surface. Among these metal oxide nanostructures are cobalt oxide (Co3O4), zinc oxide (ZnO), and bismuth-zincvanadate (BiZn2VO6) have all been studied in this thesis. Metal oxide nanostructures based electrodes are fabricated on gold-coated glass substrate by low temperature (< 100 0C) wet chemicalapproach. X-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to characterize the electrodes while ultraviolet-visible absorption and photoluminescence were used to investigate the optical properties of the nanostructures. The resultant modified electrodes were tested for their performance as chemical sensors and for their efficiency in PEC activities. Efficient chemically modified electrodes were demonstrated through doping with organic additives like anionic, nonionic or cationic surfactants. The organic additives are showing a crucial role in the growth process of metal oxide nanocrystals and hence can beused to control the morphology. These organic additives act also as impurities that would significantly change the conductivity of the electrodes. However, no organic compounds dependence was observed to modify the crystallographic structure. The findings in this thesis indicate the importance of the use of controlled nanostructures morphology for developing efficient functional materials.

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.