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Journal of Solar Energy
Volume 2013, Article ID 147270, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/147270
Research Article

Nanostructured CuO Thin Films Prepared through Sputtering for Solar Selective Absorbers

1School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai 625 021, India
2School of Chemistry, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai 625 021, India

Received 28 April 2013; Revised 31 August 2013; Accepted 31 August 2013

Academic Editor: Xin Wang

Copyright © 2013 Senthuran Karthick Kumar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Nanostructured cupric oxide (CuO) thin films have been deposited on copper (Cu) substrates at different substrate temperatures and oxygen to argon gas ratios through direct current (DC) reactive magnetron sputtering. The deposited CuO thin films are characterized by using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), profilometry, and spectrophotometry techniques. The crystalline phases, morphology, optical properties, and photothermal conversion efficiency of the CuO thin films are found to be significantly influenced by the change in substrate temperature and oxygen to argon gas ratio. The variations in the substrate temperature and oxygen to argon gas ratio have induced changes in Cu+ and Cu2+ concentrations of the CuO thin films that result in corresponding changes in their optical properties. The CuO thin film prepared at a substrate temperature of 30°C and O2 to Ar gas ratio of 1 : 1 has exhibited high absorptance and low emittance; thus, it could be used as a solar selective absorber in solar thermal gadgets.