Date of Graduation

Spring 2022


Master of Science in Materials Science


Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

Committee Chair

Kartik Ghosh


Both CuO and Cu2O have been well studied and implemented individually as an active layer of a solar cell from early age of manufacturing. A mixture of these two-phase contents at different ratios can bring variance in absorbance which can present new and diverse aspect in solar cell fabrication with added efficiency. Previous works were successful to vary the phase mixture, and the nanostructures provided very high absorption co-efficient but poor optical response on electrical conductivity. The goal of this research is to find out the optimum parameter for the phase mixture of copper oxide with high absorption coefficient as well as good optical response on electrical conductivity. Pulsed laser deposition and subsequent controlled annealing have been used to find the optimum phase mixture of copper oxide thin films to maximize the opto- electrical conductivity and absorption in the solar spectrum. To obtain the structure-property correlation, X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, opto- electronic transport measurements, and UV-VIS spectroscopy were carried out on thin film samples. Owing to the change in the phase content in the copper oxide thin films some consistent variations in the electrical and optical properties have been observed. And so far, a thin film copper oxide phase mixture (CuO 87.30%, Cu2O 12.70%) with a thickness of 200 nm yielded an absorption co-efficient of 3.0E+5 cm-1 which is greater than that of a standard CuO (1.19E+5 cm- 1), and also a large change in electrical conductivity with light has been found. This phase mixture with the maximum absorption coefficient and large opto-electronic response can be implemented as an active layer of a solar cell which would help attaining maximum efficiency in copper oxide-based heterojunction solar cell. To understand the opto- electronic properties, band structure calculation on copper oxide was also performed using density functional theory.


solar cell, phase mixture, absorption, electrical, optical, copper oxide, pulsed laser deposition

Subject Categories

Engineering Physics | Optics


© Rifat Ara Shams

Available for download on Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Open Access