Researchers developed a new method for coating by which ceramic films can be created, according to study published on July 26, 2018.
This study was conducted by the researchers at the Osaka University. Organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells that use organic compounds are expected to be the next-generation PV cells, as they are lightweight, flexible, and sophisticated, and has low production cost. One of the techniques that grabs attention is a spin coating technique for producing zinc related oxide (ZnOx, ZnOHx) ultra-thin films (ceramic films) using a solution.
Studies are being conducted on OPV cells, which uses ZnO thin films as buffer layers. In conventional production processes of ZnO thin films, a sintering process by high temperature heating or alternative energy irradiation was necessary.
The new technique for coating zinc related oxide (ZnOx, ZnOHx) was developed by depositing the films in a solution process. This was done using a method known as metal organic decomposition (MOD) at ambient temperature and pressure without involving a heating process. These thin films were beneficial for use as buffer layers for OPV cells and the films achieved a power conversion efficiency (PCE), which was same as that of ZnO thin films that were produced by conventional methods.
Researchers said, “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.”