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Title: Continuous hydrothermal flow synthesis of optimised transparent conducting oxide nanoparticles and thin films
Author: Howard, Dougal P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 0128
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis focuses on the synthesis of a variety of different transparent conducting oxide (TCO) nanomaterials using a continuous hydrothermal flow synthesis process, wherein aqueous solutions of chemical precursors were mixed with heated, pressurised water to facilitate nanoparticle formation. In Chapter 3, a screening investigation was carried out by doping zinc oxide with a number of different elements in order to highlight the most promising systems with regards to electronic conductivity. Of the twenty-four materials tested, zinc oxides doped with aluminium (AZO), gallium (GZO), and silicon (SiZO), Chapters 4 and 5, respectively, were selected for compositional optimisation and further testing. Aluminium and gallium doping and co-doping (AGZO) optimisation resulted in materials of similar conductivity to indium tin oxide (ITO), the industry standard TCO material. Upon completion of compositional optimisation, ITO and AGZO were synthesised with a citrate coating added in-process (Chapter 6). This aided in the dispersion of the nanoparticles for deposition into thin films by inkjet printing and spin coating; the latter was also carried out with un-coated GZO, AGZO, and SiZO. Preliminary inkjet printed films demonstrated very high conductivity (ITO) or very high transparency (AGZO), but never both in the same film, indicating the promise of the deposition method while requiring further investigation to be carried out. The spin coated films of all four materials were highly transparent and conductive, competitive with the best performing materials so far reported in literature. The AGZO spin coated films in particular, were the most conductive ever reported, superior even to those deposited by the sputtering methods currently used in industry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available