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Preparation and Properties of Thin Films

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Thin Films and Interfaces".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 June 2023) | Viewed by 11223

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of physics, University of Craiova, 200585 Craiova, Romania
Interests: pulsed laser deposition; advanced materials (undoped and doped) for sensors; thin film technologies; basics of the plume plasma

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Pulsed laser deposition (PLD) is a widely used technique for processing materials, such as thin films, for various technical applications. One application of thin films is its use as an active membrane for gas sensors. Nowadays, research is being done to find new materials for use in the detection of toxic gases. Of particular interest is obtaining thin films with desired morphology surfaces that are able to detect toxic gases. Therefore, knowledge on the crystalline structure, morphology of the surface, and optical band gap is of great interest. In addition, knowledge on plasma plume generated by lasers is necessary for understanding the physical parameters when obtaining a better active sensor membrane.

Dr. Mariana Osiac
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • material processing (PLD)
  • materials characterization
  • oxide and non-oxide
  • refractive index of materials

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 3658 KiB  
Article
Preparation of Flexible Liquid Crystal Films with Broadband Reflection Based on PD&SLC
by Xuetao Zhang, Rui Han, Hui Li, Xiaohui Zhao, Hui Cao, Yinjie Chen, Zhou Yang, Dong Wang and Wanli He
Materials 2022, 15(24), 8896; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15248896 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1133
Abstract
A simple and efficient method for the preparation of a film with flexible characteristic and selective reflection of near-infrared light is proposed. Based on the coexistence system (PD&SLC) of polymer dispersed liquid crystals (PDLC) and polymer stabilized liquid crystals (PSLC), it combines the [...] Read more.
A simple and efficient method for the preparation of a film with flexible characteristic and selective reflection of near-infrared light is proposed. Based on the coexistence system (PD&SLC) of polymer dispersed liquid crystals (PDLC) and polymer stabilized liquid crystals (PSLC), it combines the flexibility of PDLC with the selectively reflection of PSLC. Innovative use of step-by-step light curing to achieve microstructural differences in the three-dimensional orientation of the material is proposed. That is, the difference between PDLC and PSLC in the planar orientation, as well as the gradient distribution of cholesteric phase liquid crystal pitch in the cell thickness direction, is observed. While realizing the flexibility of the material, the function of broadening the reflection bandwidth is fulfilled. This method of preparing liquid crystal films is expected to have great potential for applications, such as flexible smart windows, infrared light shielding, and sensors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Properties of Thin Films)
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16 pages, 5220 KiB  
Article
Applied IrO2 Buffer Layer as a Great Promoter on Ti-Doping V2O5 Electrode to Enhance Electrochromic Device Properties
by Tien-Fu Ko, Po-Wen Chen, Kuan-Ming Li and Hong-Tsu Young
Materials 2022, 15(15), 5179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15155179 - 26 Jul 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
Electrochromic devices (ECDs) are a promising material for smart windows that are capable of transmittance variation. However, ECDs are still too expensive to achieve a wide market reach. Reducing fabrication cost remains a challenge. In this study, we inserted an IrO2 buffer [...] Read more.
Electrochromic devices (ECDs) are a promising material for smart windows that are capable of transmittance variation. However, ECDs are still too expensive to achieve a wide market reach. Reducing fabrication cost remains a challenge. In this study, we inserted an IrO2 buffer layer on Ti-doped V2O5 (Ti:V2O5) as a counter electrode using various Ar/O2 gas flow ratios (1/2, 1/2.5, 1/3 and 1/3.5) in the fabrication process. The buffered-ECD resulted in a larger cyclic voltammetry (CV) area and the best surface average roughness (Ra = 3.91 nm) to promote electrochromic performance. It was fabricated using the low-cost, fast deposition process of vacuum cathodic arc plasma (CAP). This study investigates the influence of the IrO2 buffer/Ti:V2O5 electrode on ECD electrochemical and optical properties, in terms of color efficiency (CE) and cycle durability. The buffered ECD (glass/ITO/WO3/liquid electrolyte/IrO2 buffer/Ti:V2O5/ITO/glass) demonstrated excellent optical transmittance modulation; ∆T = 57% (from Tbleaching (67%) to Tcoloring (10%)) at 633 nm, which was higher than without the buffer (ITO/WO3/liquid electrolyte/Ti:V2O5/ITO) (∆T = 36%). In addition, by means of an IrO2 buffer, the ECD exhibited high coloration efficiency of 96.1 cm2/mC and good durability, which decayed by only 2% after 1000 cycles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Properties of Thin Films)
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13 pages, 3586 KiB  
Article
New Insight into the Gas Phase Reaction Dynamics in Pulsed Laser Deposition of Multi-Elemental Oxides
by Xiang Yao, Christof W. Schneider, Alexander Wokaun and Thomas Lippert
Materials 2022, 15(14), 4862; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15144862 - 12 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1241
Abstract
The gas-phase reaction dynamics and kinetics in a laser induced plasma are very much dependent on the interactions of the evaporated target material and the background gas. For metal (M) and metal–oxygen (MO) species ablated in an Ar and O2 background, the [...] Read more.
The gas-phase reaction dynamics and kinetics in a laser induced plasma are very much dependent on the interactions of the evaporated target material and the background gas. For metal (M) and metal–oxygen (MO) species ablated in an Ar and O2 background, the expansion dynamics in O2 are similar to the expansion dynamics in Ar for M+ ions with an MO+ dissociation energy smaller than O2. This is different for metal ions with an MO+ dissociation energy larger than for O2. This study shows that the plume expansion in O2 differentiates itself from the expansion in Ar due to the formation of MO+ species. It also shows that at a high oxygen background pressure, the preferred kinetic energy range to form MO species as a result of chemical reactions in an expanding plasma, is up to 5 eV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Properties of Thin Films)
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12 pages, 4656 KiB  
Article
Thin Films of Nanocrystalline Fe(pz)[Pt(CN)4] Deposited by Resonant Matrix-Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation
by Dominik Maskowicz, Rafał Jendrzejewski, Wioletta Kopeć, Maria Gazda, Jakub Karczewski, Paweł Niedziałkowski, Armin Kleibert, Carlos A. F. Vaz, Yann Garcia and Mirosław Sawczak
Materials 2021, 14(23), 7135; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14237135 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1489
Abstract
Prior studies of the thin film deposition of the metal-organic compound of Fe(pz)Pt[CN]4 (pz = pyrazine) using the matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) method, provided evidence for laser-induced decomposition of the molecular structure resulting in a significant downshift of the spin transition [...] Read more.
Prior studies of the thin film deposition of the metal-organic compound of Fe(pz)Pt[CN]4 (pz = pyrazine) using the matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) method, provided evidence for laser-induced decomposition of the molecular structure resulting in a significant downshift of the spin transition temperature. In this work we report new results obtained with a tunable pulsed laser, adjusted to water resonance absorption band with a maximum at 3080 nm, instead of 1064 nm laser, to overcome limitations related to laser–target interactions. Using this approach, we obtain uniform and functional thin films of Fe(pz)Pt[CN]4 nanoparticles with an average thickness of 135 nm on Si and/or glass substrates. X-ray diffraction measurements show the crystalline structure of the film identical to that of the reference material. The temperature-dependent Raman spectroscopy indicates the spin transition in the temperature range of 275 to 290 K with 15 ± 3 K hysteresis. This result is confirmed by UV-Vis spectroscopy revealing an absorption band shift from 492 to 550 nm related to metal-to-ligand-charge-transfer (MLCT) for high and low spin states, respectively. Spin crossover is also observed with X-ray absorption spectroscopy, but due to soft X-ray-induced excited spin state trapping (SOXIESST) the transition is not complete and shifted towards lower temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Properties of Thin Films)
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16 pages, 5422 KiB  
Article
Influence of the Iron as a Dopant on the Refractive Index of WO3
by Mariana Osiac, Iulian Boerasu, Madalin-Stefan Radu, Maria Jigau and Ion Tirca
Materials 2021, 14(19), 5845; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14195845 - 06 Oct 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1381
Abstract
Results on studies of pure tungsten oxide WO3 and 2, 3 and 4% Fe-doped WO3 grown on the sapphire substrates by reactive pulsed laser deposition technique are reported. From X-ray diffraction it results that the crystalline structures changed with the substrate [...] Read more.
Results on studies of pure tungsten oxide WO3 and 2, 3 and 4% Fe-doped WO3 grown on the sapphire substrates by reactive pulsed laser deposition technique are reported. From X-ray diffraction it results that the crystalline structures changed with the substrate temperature and the peaks diffraction having a small shift by the amount of Fe content in WO3 lattice was noticed. Scanning electron microscopy presented a random behavior of WO3 nanocrystallites size with substrate temperatures. In the presence of 2% Fe-doped WO3, the nanocrystallites size varied gradually from 60 nm to 190 nm as substrate temperature increased. The transmission spectra of the pure and 2, 3 and 4% Fe-doped WO3 films were obtained within the 300–1200 nm spectral range. The refractive index of WO3 and Fe-doped WO3 layers were calculated by the Swanepoel method. The refractive index of pure WO3 shows a variation from 2.35–1.90 and for 2% Fe-doped WO3 from 2.30–2.00, as the substrate temperature increased. The contents of 3 and 4% Fe-doped WO3 presented nearly identical values of the refractive index with pure and 2% Fe-doped WO3, in error limits, at 600 °C. The optical band gap changes with substrate temperature from 3.2 eV to 2.9 eV for pure WO3 and has a small variation with the Fe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Properties of Thin Films)
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12 pages, 21194 KiB  
Article
Acid Solution Processed VO2-Based Composite Films with Enhanced Thermochromic Properties for Smart Windows
by Zhe Wang, Bin Li, Shouqin Tian, Baoshun Liu, Xiujian Zhao, Xuedong Zhou, Gen Tang and Aimin Pang
Materials 2021, 14(17), 4927; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14174927 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1733
Abstract
As a typical thermochromic material, VO2 coatings can be applied to smart windows by modulating the transmission of near infrared (NIR) light via phase transition. However, the inherent undesirable luminous transmittance (Tlum) and solar modulation efficiency (ΔTsol [...] Read more.
As a typical thermochromic material, VO2 coatings can be applied to smart windows by modulating the transmission of near infrared (NIR) light via phase transition. However, the inherent undesirable luminous transmittance (Tlum) and solar modulation efficiency (ΔTsol) of pure VO2 impede its practical application. In order to solve this problem, the porous VO2 based composite film was prepared by magnetron sputtering and subsequent acid solution process with Zn2V2O7 particles used as a sacrificial template to create pores, which showed excellent Tlum (72.1%) and enhanced ΔTsol (10.7%) compared with pure VO2 film. It was demonstrated that the porous structure of the film caused by acid solution process could improve the Tlum obviously and the isolated VO2 nanoparticles presented strong localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) effects to enhance the ΔTsol. Therefore, this method will provide a facile way to prepare VO2 based films with excellent thermochromic performance and thus promote the application of the VO2 based films in smart windows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Properties of Thin Films)
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14 pages, 4748 KiB  
Article
Towards Scalable Large-Area Pulsed Laser Deposition
by Zakhar Vakulov, Daniil Khakhulin, Evgeny Zamburg, Alexander Mikhaylichenko, Vladimir A. Smirnov, Roman Tominov, Viktor S. Klimin and Oleg A. Ageev
Materials 2021, 14(17), 4854; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14174854 - 26 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2092
Abstract
One of the significant limitations of the pulsed laser deposition method in the mass-production-technologies of micro- and nanoelectronic and molecular device electronic fabrication is the issue of ensuring deposition of films with uniform thickness on substrates with large diameter (more than 100 mm) [...] Read more.
One of the significant limitations of the pulsed laser deposition method in the mass-production-technologies of micro- and nanoelectronic and molecular device electronic fabrication is the issue of ensuring deposition of films with uniform thickness on substrates with large diameter (more than 100 mm) since the area of the laser spot (1–5 mm2) on the surface of the ablated target is incommensurably smaller than the substrate area. This paper reports the methodology that allows to calculate the distribution profile of the film thickness over the surface substrate with a large diameter, taking into account the construction and technological parameters of the pulsed laser deposition equipment. Experimental verification of the proposed methodology showed that the discrepancy with the experiment does not exceed 8%. The modeling of various technological parameters influence on the thickness uniformity has been carried out. Based on the modeling results, recommendations and parameters are proposed for manufacturing uniform thickness films. The results allow for increasing the film thickness uniformity with the thickness distribution < 5% accounts for ~ 31% of 300 mm diameter substrate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparation and Properties of Thin Films)
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