Special Issue "Advanced Thin Films for Opto-Electronic and Photovoltaic Applications"

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412). This special issue belongs to the section "Thin Films".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Barbara Vercelli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Condensed Matter Chemistry and Technologies for Energy, National Research Council, CNR-ICMATE, Via Cozzi, 53 - 20125 Milan, Italy
Interests: material science; nanotechnology; self-assembly; thin films; conducting polymers; electrochemistry; nanoparticles synthesis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

You are cordially invited to contribute to this Special Issue of Coatings entitled “Advanced Thin Films for Opto-Electronic and Photovoltaic Applications”. Thin films and engineered surfaces have a huge potential in the realization of electrical-to-optical and optical-to-electrical transducers.

New inorganic and organic optical materials, semiconductors, smart materials, nanostructures, nanocarbon, nanotubes, graphene, bioinspired and ecofriendly materials, perovskites, and related hybrid materials could be prepared as thin films with high optical quality, thus finding application in light-emitting devices, solar cells, flexible and stretchable devices, etc. Different film production strategies, including “dry” and “wet” deposition methods, are developed and optimized. Particular care is devoted to large-area deposition, high resolution patterning, solution-processing and printing, self-assembly and related fabrication techniques and emerging more environmentally friendly technologies which do not employ hazardous chemicals.

This Special Issue aims to cover recent trends and latest research advances in the field of thin film production, characterization and application to photonics, optical sensing, and solar and green energy production. Authors and research groups worldwide are invited to submit their papers on perovskite LEDs, quantum-dot LEDs or hybrid LEDs, flexible and stretchable devices, NIR OLEDs, and other devices emitting outside the visible spectrum, organic and hybrid lasers, emerging applications of emissive materials including in biomedicine, sensors, energy harvesting devices, solar cells, and any device based on novel thin film materials. The Issue welcomes publication on both theoretical and experimental analysis of carrier transport and device reliability analysis.

In particular, the topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Thin films for solar cells;
  • Thin films in light-emitting devices;
  • Deposition strategies and multilayered structures;
  • Hybrid solar cells;
  • Bioinspired thin films;
  • Transparent and conductive thin films;
  • Electrodeposited thin films;
  • Optical thin films and structures for security devices;
  • Advances in environmentally friendly methods for thin film production.

Dr. Barbara Vercelli
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 1800 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.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Efficient Light Trapping from Nanorod-Like Single-Textured Al-Doped ZnO Transparent Conducting Films
Coatings 2021, 11(5), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11050513 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 347
Abstract
Nanorod-like single-textured Al-doped ZnO (AZO) transparent conducting films were prepared by the simple hydrothermal growth of AZO nanorods on AZO seed layers. The structures, morphologies, optoelectronic properties and light trapping abilities of the AZO films were investigated. The morphological changes of single-textured AZO [...] Read more.
Nanorod-like single-textured Al-doped ZnO (AZO) transparent conducting films were prepared by the simple hydrothermal growth of AZO nanorods on AZO seed layers. The structures, morphologies, optoelectronic properties and light trapping abilities of the AZO films were investigated. The morphological changes of single-textured AZO films depending on growth temperature were shown. Above all, the relation between light trapping abilities and surface morphologies of the single-textured AZO films was studied in detail. The nanorod-like single-textured AZO films prepared at 100 °C exhibited low resistivity, high total transmittance and remarkable enhancement of haze value, which can be acted as transparent electrodes for improving the conversion efficiency of Si-based thin film solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films for Opto-Electronic and Photovoltaic Applications)
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Article
Impurity Phases and Optoelectronic Properties of CuSbSe2 Thin Films Prepared by Cosputtering Process for Absorber Layer in Solar Cells
Coatings 2020, 10(12), 1209; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10121209 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 831
Abstract
When there is a choice of materials for an application, particular emphasis should be given to the development of those that are low-cost, nontoxic, and Earth-abundant. Chalcostibite CuSbSe2 has gained attention as a potential absorber material for thin-film solar cells, since it [...] Read more.
When there is a choice of materials for an application, particular emphasis should be given to the development of those that are low-cost, nontoxic, and Earth-abundant. Chalcostibite CuSbSe2 has gained attention as a potential absorber material for thin-film solar cells, since it exhibits a high absorption coefficient. In this study, CuSbSe2 thin films were deposited by radio frequency magnetron cosputtering with CuSe2 and Sb targets. A series of CuSbxSe2 thin films were prepared with different Sb contents adjusted by sputtering power, followed by rapid thermal annealing. Impurity phases and surface morphology of Cu–Sb–Se systems were directly affected by the Sb sputtering power, with the formation of volatile components. The crystallinity of the CuSbSe2 thin films was also enhanced in the near-stoichiometric system at an Sb sputtering power of 15 W, and considerable degradation in crystallinity occurred with a slight increase over 19 W. Resistivity, carrier mobility, and carrier concentration of the near-stoichiometric thin film were 14.4 Ω-cm, 3.27 cm2/V∙s, and 1.33 × 1017 cm−3, respectively. The optical band gap and absorption coefficient under the same conditions were 1.7 eV and 1.75 × 105 cm−1, which are acceptable for highly efficient thin-film solar cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films for Opto-Electronic and Photovoltaic Applications)
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Article
High Performance Planar Structure Perovskite Solar Cells Using a Solvent Dripping Treatment on Hole Transporting Layer
Coatings 2020, 10(2), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings10020127 - 02 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Perovskite solar cell efficiency is not only related with material properties, but also affected by the interface engineering that used in perovskite solar cells. The perovskite film/electrode interface properties play important roles in charge carrier extraction, transport, and recombination. To achieve better interface [...] Read more.
Perovskite solar cell efficiency is not only related with material properties, but also affected by the interface engineering that used in perovskite solar cells. The perovskite film/electrode interface properties play important roles in charge carrier extraction, transport, and recombination. To achieve better interface contact for the device operation, proper interlayers or surface treatment should be applied. In this study, we applied a poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) interlayer with a solvent/solution washing treatment as the hole transport layer. It showed that by the solvent/solution treatment, the PEDOT:PSS film conductivity was significantly enhanced, and hence, the charge carrier transfer efficiency was efficiently improved, and the device short-circuit current density was enlarged. Finally, the device efficiency significantly increased from 14.8% to 16.2%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films for Opto-Electronic and Photovoltaic Applications)
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Review

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Review
The Role of Carbon Quantum Dots in Organic Photovoltaics: A Short Overview
Coatings 2021, 11(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11020232 - 15 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 679
Abstract
Carbon quantum dots (CDs) are a new class of fluorescent carbonaceous nanomaterials that were casually discovered in 2004. Since then, they have become object of great interest in the scientific community because of their peculiar optical properties (e.g., size-dependent and excitation wavelength-dependent fluorescence), [...] Read more.
Carbon quantum dots (CDs) are a new class of fluorescent carbonaceous nanomaterials that were casually discovered in 2004. Since then, they have become object of great interest in the scientific community because of their peculiar optical properties (e.g., size-dependent and excitation wavelength-dependent fluorescence), which make them very similar to the well-known semiconductor quantum dots and suitable for application in photovoltaic devices (PVs). In fact, with appropriate structural engineering, it is possible to modulate CDs photoluminescence properties, band gap, and energy levels in order to realize the band matching suitable to enable the desired directional flow of charge carriers within the PV device architecture in which they are implanted. Considering the latest developments, in the present short review, the employment of CDs in organic photovoltaic devices (OPVs) will be summarized, in order to study the role played by these nanomaterials in the improvement of the performances of the devices. After a first brief summary of the strategies of structural engineering of CDs and the effects on their optical properties, the attention will be devoted to the recent highlights of CDs application in organic solar cells (OSCs) and in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), in order to guide the users towards the full exploitation of the use of these nanomaterials in such OPV devices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films for Opto-Electronic and Photovoltaic Applications)
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Review
Carbon Dots as a Sustainable New Platform for Organic Light Emitting Diode
Coatings 2021, 11(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11010005 - 23 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 870
Abstract
Over the past 10 years, carbon dots (CDs) synthesized from renewable raw materials have received considerable attention in several fields for their unique photoluminescent properties. Moreover, the synthesis of CDs fully responds to the principles of circular chemistry and the concept of safe-by-design. [...] Read more.
Over the past 10 years, carbon dots (CDs) synthesized from renewable raw materials have received considerable attention in several fields for their unique photoluminescent properties. Moreover, the synthesis of CDs fully responds to the principles of circular chemistry and the concept of safe-by-design. This review will focus on the different strategies for incorporation of CDs in organic light-emitting devices (OLEDs) and on the study of the impact of CDs properties on OLED performance. The main current research outcomes and highlights are summarized to guide users towards full exploitation of these materials in optoelectronic applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films for Opto-Electronic and Photovoltaic Applications)
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