Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical & Computer Engineering


Electrical & Computer Engineering

Committee Director

Hani Elsayed Ali

Committee Member

Helmut Baumgart

Committee Member

Gon Namkoong


Highly transmissive coatings were developed by fabricating thin films using SiO2 and SiO2/TiO2 core/shell nanoparticles on glass substrates and on the photovoltaic cell glass covers. This coating is to maintain an attractive color appearance of the exterior surface for architecturally integrated photovoltaics and can be coated on fabricated photovoltaic panels. The color and optical properties of the nanoparticle coating was investigated for different nanoparticle diameters of 200-400 nm for SiO2 nanoparticles and core/shell nanoparticles having SiO2/TiO2 structure with 300 ± 11 nm diameter, and SiO2/TiO2/SiO2 structure with 506 ± 13 nm diameter. We describe controlled coating of glass surfaces by the nanoparticles to form an ordered structure on the surface with selective reflection and high transmission in the photon energy range needed for photovoltaic panels, while reflecting a selected part of the spectra to achieve a certain color. The effect of the concentration of colloidal solution based on the size of nanoparticles was examined and properties of the coating fabricated on glass slides were studied. An optical spectrometer was used to measure the transmission and reflectance of the coating. Scanning electron microscopy was used to observe the stacking of the nanoparticles, while atomic force microscopy was used to determine the roughness of coating deposited on glass slides.

The nanoparticle coating was fabricated on Si photovoltaic cells to observe the effect of the coating on the solar cell performance using a solar cell simulator. The solar cells coated using commercial 200 nm, 300 nm, and 400 nm nanoparticles showed blue, pink, and green colors respectively, and the solar cells coated using SiO2/TiO2/SiO2 nanoparticles showed pink color. The solar cell power loss observed is 5.47 %, 15.61 %, and 10.73 % for coatings done using 200, 300, and 400 nm particles respectively, and ~ 11. 01 % power loss was observed with three coats of SiO2/TiO2/SiO2 nanoparticles.


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