Special Issue "Advances in Chromogenic Thin Films"

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2017)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Russell Binions

School of Engineering and Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: chemical vapour deposition; functional metal oxide films; metal oxide semiconductor; gas sensors; chromogenic materials; photocatalysis; nanocomposite thin films

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to invite you to submit your work to this Special Issue on “Advances in Chromogenic Thin Films”. Such technologies are poised to play a significant role in reducing building energy demand, that is suggested to account for 40% of all energy usage. A multitude of other applications, from sensors and actuators to product quality control, are also possible. Such technologies work in a dynamic way, responding to some external stimulus and adjusting their optical properties. Of particular interest are electrochromic, thermochromic, photochromic and gasochromic systems. Vast scientific and technological progress has been achieved on this topic by universities and research institutes all around the world. This progress has been supported by the industrial development of novel characterization and deposition tools. The aim of this Special Issue is to present the latest experimental and theoretical developments in the field, through a combination of original research papers and review articles from leading groups around the world.

Prof. Dr. Russell Binions
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Coatings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 850 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Electrochromics
  • Thermochromics
  • Photochromics
  • Gasochromic

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission, see below for planned papers.

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The role of precursor type and growth conditions in the CVD of V2O5 materials for electrochromic applications
Authors: I. I. Kazadojev1, S. O’Brien1, M.Modreanu1, P. Osiceanu2, S. Somacescu2, D. Louloudakis3,4 , N. Katsarakis3,5,6, E. Koudoumas3,5, D. Vernardou3, M.E.Pemble1,7, I.M. Povey1*
Affiliation: 1Tyndall National Ιnstitute, University College Cork, Lee Maltings, Prospect Row, Cork, Ireland
2Institute of Physical Chemistry (I.G. Murgulescu)
3Center of Materials Technology and Photonics, School of Applied Technology, Technological Educational Institute    of Crete, 710 04 Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
4Department of Physics, University of Crete, 710 03 Heraklion, Crete, Greece.
5Electrical Engineering Department, Technological Educational Institute of Crete, 710 04 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
6Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser, Foundation for Research & Technology-Hellas, P.O. Box 1527, Vassilika Vouton, 711 10 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
7Department of Chemistry, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Abstract: Vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) is an interesting material which possesses considerable commercial potential as a result of its stability, its semiconductor-metal transition at 250 oC and its multi-coloured electrochromism. The electrochromic properties of V2O5 have been of particular interest in relation to possible smart window applications, where they could facilitate the electrical control of transmission and hence contribute to the energy saving in buildings via a reduction of the energy expended in cooling. The ability to uniformly coat large-area substrates such as windows at low unit cost maintaining material performance is important for the implementation of V2O5-based coatings in electrochromic devices. Deposition techniques like chemical vapour deposition (CVD) are favoured by industry due to the high growth rates achievable and the compatibility of in-line CVD techniques with large-area glass production, in contrast with off-line coating methods such as physical vapour deposition and sol-gel.
For the AACVD procedure, vanadyl acetylacetonate (VO(acac)2), a readily-vanadium (V)  compound,  was utilized ­as the precursor for a growth period of 15-60 minutes at 400 oC, followed by an annealing step at 600oC in air for 1 h. Depositions were carried out using a home built kit on FTO coated glass substrates with a surface resistivity of 5-10 Ω/sq (Sigma-Aldrich). Deposited films were polycrystalline and contained mixed oxides with V­2O5 being predominant in most cases.
For the pulsed-CVD route, the depositions were carried out at 250 oC for 400 ‘equivalent ALD cycles’ as clearly defined in the paper, using tetrakis dimethylamino vanadium (V(NMe2)4), a vanadium (IV) compound, as the precursor, followed by an annealing step at 400 oC in air for 1 h. Films were grown on ITO coated glass substrates with a surface resistivity of 30-60/sq (Sigma-Aldrich). Thin films were deposited using a Cambridge-Nanotech Fiji ALD system and found to be largely amorphous, with only very low intensity XRD features observed during characterization.
The two growth processes are described in detail. Their outcomes are compared and evaluated in relation to the growth of V2O5 having a rapid time response towards Li+ ion intercalation, subsequent high colouration efficiency, increased charge storage and good stability and reproducibility over a large number of Li+ intercalation/de-intercalation cycles.

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