During long term space missions, it is necessary to have a reliable source of energy. Solar cells are an easy and reliable way to convert energy from the sun to electrical energy. NASA has used solar cells manufactured on Earth as an energy source for many of its missions. In order to develop technologies that will enable high efficiency solar cells, we are synthesizing nanostructured materials. A range of nanostructured materials, such as titanium dioxide nanowires, nickel nanoparticles, copper nanoparticles, and silver nanoparticles/nanowires, are synthesized. In this work, we are reporting on the synthesis of these nanomaterials and the electron microscopic characterizations. Nanomaterials were synthesized using well-known protocols, such as the polyol process for silver nanowires and the hydrothermal method to produce titanium dioxide nanowires. The nanomaterials were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) at NASA Ames and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) from the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource at SLAC National Acceleratory Laboratory. This study will bring understanding on the chemical structure and morphology of these nanomaterials that will potentially be used for high efficiency solar cells.


Chemistry | Materials Science and Engineering | Nanoscience and Nanotechnology


Ramprasad Gandhiraman

Lab site

NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1340110 and is made possible with contributions from the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevron Corporation, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and from the host research center. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are solely those of the authors. The STAR Program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in STEM Education on behalf of the California State University system.

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