SELECTIVE LIGHT SCATTERING FROM A SILICA-PMMA COMPOSITE

Open Access
Author:
Smith, Leland C
Area of Honors:
Chemistry
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr Tom Mallouk, Thesis Supervisor
  • Thomas E Mallouk, Thesis Supervisor
  • Karl Todd Mueller, Honors Advisor
  • Andrew Zydney, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Mie Scattering
  • silica
  • doped silica
  • composite
  • PMMA
  • doped SiO2
  • poly(methyl methacrylate)
Abstract:
A dispersion of silica nanoparticles in Poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) is investigated as a potential lens material for a hybrid solar cell. PMMA is polymerized from methyl methacrylate (MMA) to make optically clear cylinders one inch in diameter. Spherical silica particles 274nm, 350nm and 600nm in diameter are surface treated using 3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacrylate, dispersed in MMA, and polymerized into the polymer matrix using benzoyl peroxide initiator. The resulting silica-PMMA composites are cylinders one inch in diameter and appear homogenous. UV-visible spectroscopy is used to measure the transmittance of the silica-PMMA composites. Also, thin films of germanium and titanium-doped silica are deposited onto microscope slides and the refractive index of these films is estimated from reflectance measurements taken with UV-visible spectroscopy.