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Transparent Conductive Nanomaterials for Solar Cell


Nanotubes / Diamond Like Carbon Composite Transparent Conductive Material for Solar Cell and Conductive Coating Applications

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-ELE/Organic and Electronics Materials/Materials
  • NNE-SOL/Solar Energy/Non-Nuclear Energy
  • PHY-SSP/Solid State Physics/Physics

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Mitina L M

Leading Institute
State Engineering University of Armenia, Armenia, Yerevan

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of Radiophysics and Electronics, Armenia, Ashtarak-2


  • University of Southampton, UK, Southampton\nMarenostrum Institute of Technology, S.L., Spain, Castellar del Valles\nUniversity of Aveiro, Portugal, Aveiro\nTechnical University Gh. Asachi Iasi, Romania, Iasi\nSheffield Hallam University / Materials and Engineering Research Institute, UK, Shiffield\nUniversidade Nova de Lisboa / Faculdade de Ciencias e Technologia, Portugal, Lisbon\nNational Institute for Material Physics, Romania, Magurele\nErnst Moritz Arndt Universitat Greifswald / Institut fur Physik, Germany, Greifswald

Project summary

The composite material synthesized on the base of diamond-like carbon (DLC) matrix included carbon nanotubes (CNT) seems highly promising for applications since regularities taking place at excitations of CNT imbedded in ambient matrix provide a basis for designing new classes of devices. As especially promising challenge may consider the development of technology allowing the obtainment of different diamond-like coatings included CNT involving possibility to get transparent and conductive coatings for needs of photonics. Another hopeful challenge seems the solar energy conversion potentialities latent in cells based on considered composite material.

Many ideas related with CNT usage well promoted on the market, but prospective capabilities may exponentially extended. CNT are promising candidates for a variety of nano-scale electronic and photonic applications. However, there are some obstacles impeded wide-ranging utilization of CNTs in electronics and photonics. It connected with the complexity of CNT integration with the off-the-shelf items considering impossibility to obtain generally marketed nanotubes possessed by performance objectives. The opportunity to synthesize the material inclusive the CNT may be at the heart of overcoming mentioned obstacles. Therefore, the possibility to obtain the coatings with build-in CNTs seems highly promising. The origination of built-in CNT at plasma chemical deposition of DLC films may take place spontaneously resulting in formation of integrated composite matrix. DLC films do not widely accepted considering the restricted conductivity and photosensitivity, but are hopeful due to opportunity to improve their properties by the way of integration with nanostructures. The present ability to form either metallic or semi conductive composite material depending on technological parameters looks especially promising. Particularly, we successes in obtaining coatings possessed by sufficiently high transparency in visible region of spectrum, while the specific resistance are the same as for widely utilized ITO glasses. Obtained coatings seem more preferable considering primary protective properties and cheapness. High conductivity conditions by originated CNTs, which may operate as additional channels transferring the charge carriers. Mentioned advantages will design new classes of solar energy converters. DLC based photosensitive heterostructures (DLC/Si) may be quite competitive, since leads to broadening of photosensitivity region. Preliminary investigations of DLC matrix holding CNT confirm perspective view of this composite material. Particularly, presence of nanotubes leads to increase of charge carrier’s mobility and respectively conductivity for a few orders of magnitude. Considered composite materials are especially promising as a basis for elaboration photosensitive heterostructures in looming great market of Renewable Energy Technologies. Nevertheless the opportunities for other types of nanostructures application are worthy of note. For example, the fullerenes origination in matrix may lead to specific optical transitions since fullerenes look seemingly like quantum dots in semiconductor compounds. The detailed analysis of mechanisms existent on nanostructure-matrix interface at electrical or optical influences marks the beginning of new insight on complicated processes taking place in composite material. In suggested proposal, we offer the approach when CNT and other nanostructures formed at using relatively simple and cheep technique of plasmochemical deposition. The great potential of this approach argued by the opportunity to use fully computerized control when supplying in plasma additional agents (dopants) crucial for coatings properties and particularly for nanostructures formation. Real-time characterization and computational modelling of nucleation and growth in self-assembling composite materials will clear the processes taking place at film-formation. Multiplicity of various nanostructures, their possible arrangement, peculiarities of processes taking place on the nanostructure-matrix interface all this cumulatively gives opportunities for sequential experimentation having as its object the further development of advanced technology.

The expected results possess by great potential for commercialization, since the opportunity to produce innovated composite materials possessed by unique properties allowing the solving of various scientific and technical problem. As especially promising seems development of technology, allowing getting of transparence and conductive coatings capable to insert expensive ITO glass widely used the needs of photonics. The last is highly important since indium resources failed with increase of need.

Obtained results may be in interest for:

  • Scientific centers engaged in development and study of composite materials
  • Centers investigated conversion of solar energy based on nanostructures origination
  • ITO glass delivered industrial firms


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