Honors Projects


Alexa Johnson


Weak coupling regimes between metallic nanoparticles and semiconductor quantum dots have been shown to increase efficiency in quantum dot solar cells by 80%. This phenomenon is also known to scale up non-linearly. Increasing the efficiency of solar cells with the use of plasmon-exciton coupling will help solar cells to become competitive with other energy sources. Another weakness of current quantum dot solar cells is the thermal, chemical, and electrical instability that ligand-terminated nanocrystals are subject to. Our new SMENA encapsulation matrix increases thermal stability of the nanocrystal array by using large band-gap semiconductor shells to cap the exciton generating core. These semiconductor shells lead to much greater thermal stability and refractive index of the film. For this Honors Project, a study of fluorescent thin films has been conducted. This study intended to utilize the SMENA methodology, as well as localized surface plasmon resonance to show that metallic nanoparticles might be used to increase NC solar cell efficiency.



First Advisor

Mikhail Zamkov

First Advisor Department

Physics and Astronomy

Second Advisor

Robert Blass

Second Advisor Department


Publication Date

Spring 4-29-2013