Synthesis of tailor-made AZO nanocrystals and their processing to functional thin films
Contact person: Dr. Sherif Okeil
Summary of the overall project:
Today, the production of conductive layers is an important pillar of technical progress. Conductive oxide layers are the basis of many electronic components such as solar cells, electrochromic glass and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), which form the basis of modern display technology. Until now, indium-tin-oxide (ITO) has been the most commonly used conductive transparent oxide. But unfortunately, the element indium is rare and becoming rarer with further consumption, so it is necessary to search for suitable alternative oxides that are similar to ITO in their properties and whose elements are readily available. Aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) is one of these candidates, which has good conductivity and is also cheaper than conventional IZO. In this project, AZO nanoparticles from non-aqueous sol-gel syntheses are used to prepare transparent conductive thin films which are of interest for electronic devices.
Fig.: (a) Top and (b) cross-sectional view of AZO thin film formed of AZO nanoaggregates obtained from benzyl alcohol synthesis route drop coated on glass substrate.
Goals and tasks of iPAT
- Preparation of aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) by non-aqueous sol-gel synthesis in benzyl alcohol.
- Stabilization of the prepared AZO nanoparticles by means of postsynthetic stabilization
- Preparation and characterization of AZO nanoparticle thin films (conductivity measurements, SEM, TEM, XRD, UV-VIS...etc.)
- Post-treatment of particle-based thin films to improve conductivity.
WG Nirschl (Institute for Mechanical Process Engineering and Mechanics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)