The world is in dire need of new energy sources that are cleaner and more readily available than those currently in use. Solar energy is a particularly exciting source for clean and renewable energy. New materials are needed to help augment solar energy technologies by converting the energy in solar photons into storable chemical energy in form of hydrogen gas. This work describes attempts to develop a photocatalytic material to be used to produce hydrogen fuel using water and sunlight. In order to maintain economic viability for this product without sacrificing effectiveness, lead (Pb2+)-doped zinc sulfide (ZnS) nanocrystals will be synthesized. Currently, no method for producing such a product exists in the field. For this reason, a novel reaction scheme must be developed. The work described here details numerous synthesis and analysis experiments of the lead sulfide (PbS) and ZnS binary compounds in order to better understand their characteristics and formation pathways. Using this increased knowledge of the individual PbS and ZnS compounds, attempts were made at nanocrystal doping by adding Pb2+ to ZnS synthesis as a function of temperature with the expectation of altering the resulting product. Ultimately, doping experiments gave unique absorbance spectra that must be analyzed further to determine if successful doping was achieved.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-11-2015


Judith L. Jenkins

Department/Professional Affiliation


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Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars