Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New modular system for controlled synthesis of metal/metal oxide nanocomposite thin films

13.09.2011
Concept is based on research at Bielefeld University

Semiconductor thin films with special electronic, magnetic or optical functions are widely demanded for technical applications in increasingly smaller and efficient devices - they are indispensable in high-efficiency solar cells, bright light-emitting diodes and magneto-electronic devices.


Like raisins in a cake, metal nanoparticles are embedded into the functional metal oxide matrix. The electron microscope image shows a single silver nanoparticle in a surrounding zinc oxide matrix.

Especially interesting are nanostructured materials where several crucial functions such as electrical conductivity and optical properties can be precisely controlled. At Bielefeld University, chemists have now developed a modular system for this purpose: Their approach enables flexible design and deposition of nanocomposite thin films of metal oxides with embedded metallic nanoparticles, enabling reliable control of their functionality. Their report about this novel approach is published in the renowned journal "Angewandte Chemie International Edition".

Dr. Naoufal Bahlawane is the leading force behind this research project. Until this March, he was a member of the research unit Physikalische Chemie I at Bielefeld University, headed by Prof. Dr. Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus, from where he moved to the Centre de Recherche Public – Gabriel Lippmann in Luxembourg. Collaborative work remains ongoing between him and the Bielefeld group. "After ten years of research, we have now reached a breakthrough", said Bahlawane. Only some days ago, he reported about this strategy at the EuroCVD Conference in Kinsale, Ireland, and discussed with international colleagues about his results. These findings were received with high attention, says Bahlawane. The reason: "Our rational approach opens up avenues for a huge number of potential applications – we can now play with the properties of the materials and think of new functions."

The fundamental work developing the catalytically enabled chemical vapour deposition (CVD) strategy was performed by Bahlawane and Kohse-Höinghaus at Bielefeld University. For the results highlighted here, they teamed up with colleagues at the University of Bremen and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) Braunschweig, permitting unambiguous charac-terization of the deposited nanocomposites with dedicated analysis techniques. In their ap-proach, metal nanoparticles were embedded in a controlled fashion into a thin film of functional oxides to systematically and reliably influence the specific properties of the composite structure in the direction of the desired function.

Variable parameters in this modular system are the chemical composition of the particles, which can be pure metals or alloys, their size and distribution as well as the properties of the surrounding oxide host material. For the first time, the team around Bahlawane and Kohse-Höinghaus was able with their approach to control oxide matrix and metal nanoparticles fully independently to tune their visible absorption. Similarly, the strategy can influence magnetic properties in a controlled way. New possibilities for applications profiting from such nanocomposites can be envisaged including solar cells, sunlight-driven photocatalysis and magnetic-optical and electrical devices.

An extremely valuable feature of the present catalytically driven deposition approach, says Kohse-Höinghaus, should be its principal compatibility with CVD as an established industrial micro-fabrication technique. It may thus be possible to adapt the Bielefeld approach to stan-dard fabrication environments.

Original publication:
"Rational Design of functional oxide thin films with embedded magnetic or plasmonic metallic nanoparticles", Naoufal Bahlawane, Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus, Thomas Weimann, Peter Hinze, Sarah Röhe, Marcus Bäumer, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 9. September 2011, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201102489
For further information in the Internet, go to:
onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201102489/abstract
Contact:
PD Dr. Naoufal Bahlawane, Centre de Recherche Public – Gabriel Lippmann, Luxemburg
Nanomaterials Research Unit, SAM Department
Tel: 0035 2470261585
E-Mail: bahlawan@lippmann.lu
Prof. Dr. Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus, Bielefeld University
Department of Chemistry
Tel: 0049 521 106-2052
E-Mail: kkh@uni-bielefeld.de

Ingo Lohuis | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201102489/abstract

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries
22.03.2017 | Yale University

nachricht Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold
22.03.2017 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics

23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Sea ice extent sinks to record lows at both poles

23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>