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Special Issue "Metal-Oxide Thin Films and Nanostructured Films: Focus on Energy Applications"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2023 | Viewed by 869

Special Issue Editors

Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Estonian University of Life Science, Kreutzwaldi 62, 51006 Tartu, Estonia
Interests: metal-oxide thin-film deposition; atomic layer deposition; nanomaterial synthesis; metal nanoparticles; metal-oxide nanoparticles; water purification; nanomedicine; photovoltaics; hybrid nanocomposites
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Institute of Forestry and Engineering, Estonian University of Life Science, Kreutzwaldi 56/1, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
Interests: nanoparticles; thin films; carbon-based hybrid materials; photovoltaics; LED; photocatalysis; electron microscopy; water purification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The last two decades have seen a tremendous improvement in thin-film deposition methods and technologies that enable the synthesis of nanostructured surfaces and coatings with nanoscale precision. Today, due to climate change, there is a need to develop new technologies that will enable the transition to more environmentally friendly energy production. However, owing to the intermittence of renewable energies that depend on the weather, sun, duration, and wind, more efficient and reliable energy storage technologies are required. With new developments in the field of thin-film deposition and nanostructured coatings, it is now possible to coat surfaces with complex compositions and synthesize nanocomposites and multilayers, enabling the development of synergistic effects through the mutual interaction of such layers. The deposition of complex structures allows for the development of new technologies in the field of energy production and energy storage.

The development of these new technologies and scaling down the size of the produced devices require accurate control of the deposition process. The latter then allows for tailoring thin films and nanodevices as desired. These recent advances are not only limited to energy production and storage, but are applicable to every field in order to cope with the present demands of society. The last two decades have also witnessed the accelerated development of atomic layer deposition processes that enable the conformal coating at nanoscale to be now up-scalable to larger surface areas. More recently, nanomaterial production (in situ and ex situ synthesis) has been improved to fit with the industrial constraints to enable large-scale production of devices by integrating these nanomaterials and nanocomposites.

This Special Issue will compile recent developments in the field of energy production and energy storage with a focus on metal-oxide thin-film deposition and/or nanostructured thin-film production. The articles presented in this Special Issue will cover various topics, ranging from, but not limited to, the optimization of deposition methods, thin-film preparations, the functionalization of surfaces with targeted applications in the field of energy production, energy storage, batteries, catalysis, electronic devices, and the synthesis of nanostructures via the accurate control of deposition/coating methods, among others.

Prof. Dr. Erwan Rauwel
Prof. Dr. Protima Rauwel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2600 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.


  • metal-oxide thin films
  • nanostructured thin films
  • nanomaterials
  • nanocomposites
  • atomic layer deposition
  • chemical vapor deposition
  • sputtering
  • wet chemistry
  • multilayers
  • functional thin films
  • photovoltaic cells
  • batteries
  • electrodes
  • catalysis
  • transistor technology
  • optoelectronic

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Tailoring SnO2 Defect States and Structure: Reviewing Bottom-Up Approaches to Control Size, Morphology, Electronic and Electrochemical Properties for Application in Batteries
Materials 2023, 16(12), 4339; - 12 Jun 2023
Viewed by 718
Tin oxide (SnO2) is a versatile n-type semiconductor with a wide bandgap of 3.6 eV that varies as a function of its polymorph, i.e., rutile, cubic or orthorhombic. In this review, we survey the crystal and electronic structures, bandgap and defect [...] Read more.
Tin oxide (SnO2) is a versatile n-type semiconductor with a wide bandgap of 3.6 eV that varies as a function of its polymorph, i.e., rutile, cubic or orthorhombic. In this review, we survey the crystal and electronic structures, bandgap and defect states of SnO2. Subsequently, the significance of the defect states on the optical properties of SnO2 is overviewed. Furthermore, we examine the influence of growth methods on the morphology and phase stabilization of SnO2 for both thin-film deposition and nanoparticle synthesis. In general, thin-film growth techniques allow the stabilization of high-pressure SnO2 phases via substrate-induced strain or doping. On the other hand, sol–gel synthesis allows precipitating rutile-SnO2 nanostructures with high specific surfaces. These nanostructures display interesting electrochemical properties that are systematically examined in terms of their applicability to Li-ion battery anodes. Finally, the outlook provides the perspectives of SnO2 as a candidate material for Li-ion batteries, while addressing its sustainability. Full article
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