Japanese researchers develop coating technique to create ceramic ultra-thin films using solution
As environmental and energy issues have become increasingly aggravated in recent years, photovoltaic (PV) cells are drawing attention as a new energy source. However, since the cost of silicon PV cells is still high, it's important to reduce the cost of PV cells. On the other hand, organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells using organic compounds have several advantages: they are lightweight, flexible, and sophisticated, and their production cost is low. For these reasons, they are anticipated as next-generation PV cells.
As for the development of OPV cells, in addition to organic semiconductors that absorb light, (1) materials for buffer layers in OPV cells (buffer layers, or OPV inter-layers, that efficiently separate electrons and holes produced from light energy and transport electrons and holes to each electrode and (2) the design of OPV devices are actively being studied. In these circumstances, one of the techniques that grabs the most attention is a spin coating technique to create Zinc related oxide (ZnOx, ZnOHx) ultra-thin films (ceramic films) using a solution.
OPV cells using ZnO thin films as buffer layers are actively being studied. In conventional production processes of ZnO thin films, a sintering process by high temperature heating or alternative energy irradiation was necessary.
A joint group of researchers from Osaka University and Kanazawa University developed a technique for coating Zinc related oxide (ZnOx, ZnOHx) simply by depositing the films in a solution process using the Metal Organic Decomposition (MOD) method at ambient temperature and pressure without a heating process. They also demonstrated that their thin films produced by this technique were useful as buffer layers for OPV cells and that the films achieved a power conversion efficiency (PCE) equivalent to that of ZnO thin films produced by conventional methods involving sintering. Their research results were published in Scientific Reports.
One of the authors Tohru Sugahara says, "We succeeded in forming nano-sized oxide ultra-thin films by our blended solution coating method without heating."
The thickness of this ultra-thin film can be controlled in the range of 5 - 100 nanometers. They created OPV cells using this film making technique, achieving the highest PCE under the use of an ultra-thin film of about 20 nm. This technique not requiring heating in the forming process of ZnO thin films will be able to drastically reduce the production process and cost.
Osaka University was founded in 1931 as one of the seven imperial universities of Japan and now has expanded to one of Japan's leading comprehensive universities. The University has now embarked on open research revolution from a position as Japan's most innovative university and among the most innovative institutions in the world according to Reuters 2015 Top 100 Innovative Universities and the Nature Index Innovation 2017. The university's ability to innovate from the stage of fundamental research through the creation of useful technology with economic impact stems from its broad disciplinary spectrum.
Saori Obayashi | EurekAlert!
Anode material for safe batteries with a long cycle life
06.08.2020 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
ETRI develops eco-friendly color thin-film solar cells
31.07.2020 | National Research Council of Science & Technology
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences