Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.

Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Qiquan Qiao


Semi-transparent organic solar cells have potential as power generating window coatings for buildings to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Solution processed semitransparent electrodes can enhance the cost effectiveness of these organic solar cells compared to non-solution processed electrodes. Silver nanowire electrodes that are solution processable, have been shown to match the sheet resistance and transmittance of indium tin oxide semitransparent electrodes, but have a shorter lifetime. The objective of this thesis was to develop a technique to increase the life time of silver nanowire electrodes. The short lifetime of nanowire junctions has been shown to be due to joule heating which results in nanowire melting and failure. This heat could be carried away by encapsulating silver nanowire electrodes in ZnO, which has a higher heat transfer coefficient than air. Uncoated and ZnO coated silver nanowire electrodes were fabricated by spin coating, spray coating, and drop coating; and characterized for transmittance, sheet resistance, surface roughness, and lifetime. Spray coated silver nanowire films exhibited a longer lifetime than that reported for films fabricated with the Meyer rod coating method; however, the silver nanowire electrodes had rough surfaces that were not compatible with organic solar cells. ZnO coatings were used to smooth the surface, but coatings thick enough for this purpose increased the silver nanowire electrode sheet resistance beyond an acceptable range. Preliminary lifetime experiments indicated that thin ZnO coating could increase the silver nanowire electrodes lifetime. Future work should further investigate in detail the effects of ZnO coatings on silver nanowire electrode lifetime.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Solar energy
Solar cells


Includes bibliographical references (pages 101-110)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted