A new study published from a laboratory in India reports the development of a lead based nano-sized metallic semi-conductor.
In this report, submitted to arXiv, an electronic archive for preprints of scientific papers, the researchers have described the semiconducting properties of the lead nanopowder. The synthesis procedures of the lead nanopowder semiconductor was previously explained in another recent paper submitted to arXiv. A semiconductor is a material with electrical conductivity between that of a conductor and an insulator.
The research group, based at Centre for Research and Post Graduate Department of Physics, Ayya Nadar Janaki Ammal College in Tamil Nadu, India comments: “To our best knowledge, this is the first demonstration of semiconducting nature of lead nanopowder. So far, lead metal has been known as a good / super conductor.”
The results of this study suggest that the synthesized material is an efficient semiconducting material and can be utilized for making solar cells, optoelectronic, power and other semiconductor devices. The results of this study may further stimulate research on nano-sized lead powder.
The authors found that, as a direct bandgap material, the visible light shining on its surface is well absorbed by the material they have developed. According to the authors, the large surface area (314 nm2) and high specific surface area (52m2g-1) of this material augments its light absorbance property. Quantum yield value greater than one for this material is the result of the gain of energy. It shows possible utilization for heat or photochemical reaction or photo-induced or radiation-induced chain reactions, in which a single photon may trigger a long chain of transformations. These characteristics are important in the use of this semiconductor material in photovoltaic cells.
The researchers have studied band gap values of the lead nanopowder obtained from techniques such a UV-Visible spectrometry, cyclic voltammetry and photoluminescence. “Our data clearly indicate the semiconducting nature of lead nanopowder and its direct bandgap,” the researchers said.
Image courtesy of Dr. Theivasanthi