Thin-film composite functional materials based on metal oxides with variable optical and electrical characteristics for photovoltaic devices

Currently, the market of light sources and photovoltaics shows a tendency to move away from bulk materials to thin-film structures, associated with the cheaper technology of thin films. A promising method for the production of thin-film coatings and devices is the sol-gel technology, which allows the creation of new functional materials. This method is one of the most optimal, due to its simplicity and the lowest cost in its production.



Figure. Samples of thin films of zinc oxide doped with aluminum (AZO), with silver nanoparticles of different concentrations.

For thin-film photovoltaic devices, it is necessary to create conditions for more efficient absorption of sunlight by the structure and for the generation of electron-hole pairs. Materials possessing plasmon effects can cope with this task. At the same time, the use of a plasmon radiation amplification mechanism is one of the ways to increase the efficiency of light sources.

In this area, work is underway to obtain thin-film coatings on substrates of materials of various types to control light absorption and electrical conductivity due to external exposure. The development and research of alternative ITO (indium-tin oxide) coating of composite materials with greater functionality is also underway, which will lead to the creation of new types of photovoltaic devices, as well as to increase the efficiency of existing products in the optoelectronic industry, which will significantly save energy and resources.

1. Zinc oxide aluminum doped slabs for heat-eliminating coatings of spacecrafts. E.V. Shirshneva-Vaschenko, P.S. Shirshnev, Zh.G. Snezhnaia, L.A. Sokura, V.E. Bougrov, A.E. Romanov. Acta Astronautica 163 (2019) 107–111;

2. Electron-microscopy study of ordered silver nanoparticles synthesized in a ZnO:Al polycrystalline film. L.A. Sokura, E.V. Shirshneva-Vaschenko, D.A. Kirilenko, Zh.G. Snezhnaia, P.S. Shirshnev, А.Е. Romanov. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1410 (2019) 012170;

3. Study of the influence of the ZnO:Al polycrystalline film morphology on the silver nanoparticles formation. E.V. Shirshneva-Vaschenko, L.A. Sokura, M.V. Baidakova, M.A. Yagovkina, Zh.G. Snezhnaia, P.S. Shirshnev, А.Е. Romanov. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1400 (2019) 055026.