Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Xiulin Ruan

Committee Member 1

Timothy Fisher

Committee Member 2

Raymond Viskanta

Committee Member 3

Yue Wu

Committee Member 4

Xianfan Xu


Semiconductor nanocrystals are promising for photovoltaic and thermoelectric applications due to the size-tuned electrical, thermal, and optical properties. For example, they can be size-tuned to emit and absorb light in a specific wavelength range. Their small size also makes multiple exciton generation possible in certain situations. However, their device performance is usually limited by the poor charge transport. Tellurium-based nanoparticle studies were performed in the form of photovoltaic film research, and later, nanocomposite thermoelectrics have been studied.