Special Issue "Thin Films for Energy Production and Storage"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Alessia Le Donne
Guest Editor
Department of Materials Science and Milano-Bicocca Solar Energy Research Center (MIB-SOLAR), University of Milano-Bicocca, Via Cozzi 55 (Building U5) I-20125 Milano, Italy
Interests: first- and second-generation solar cells; thin films deposition by vacuum methods; material characterization; device construction and testing
Dr. Vanira Trifiletti
Guest Editor
School of Engineering and Materials Science (SEMS), Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
Interests: nanostructured materials for renewable energy applications; photovoltaic and thermoelectric devices; chemical and physical synthesis of single crystals and thin films; material characterization; device construction and testing
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As it is well known, in the last decades, thin films have gained a lot of attention from the scientific community in a plethora of applications.

First of all, any sort of thin film provides material saving. For many years, the cost and weight reductions related to the employment of thin films, as opposed to bulk materials, were among the main driving forces of their extensive development. Nowadays, the availability of many raw materials is seriously decreasing, while both the energy and technology needs for the daily life are strongly increasing, which makes material saving even more crucial. We are therefore pleased to guest edit a Special Issue devoted to “Thin Films for Energy Production and Storage”. 

Here, we solicit the submission of manuscripts on the growth and characterization of inorganic or hybrid thin films, as well as devices based on them, for applications in solar photovoltaics, energy storage (e.g., electrodes in batteries), and energy harvesting (e.g., piezoelectric and thermoelectric applications). Most of these applications require the development of cost effective and/or easily scalable layers, which strongly depend on the growth technique. On the one hand, vacuum methods offer either the chance to grow high purity thin films (evaporation method) or less technological challenges toward up-scaling the system, while keeping good control of the deposition rate (sputtering method). On the other hand, the non-vacuum techniques are attracting more and more attention because of their lower production cost. Papers on thin films produced either by vacuum or non-vacuum methodologies are welcome, with a focus on eco-friendly approaches. Last, but not least, manuscripts on thin films involving Earth-abundant elements are of particular interest.

Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Dr. Alessia Le Donne
Dr. Vanira Trifiletti
Guest Editors

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. 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 2000 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.


  • Thin film growth
  • Optical, electrical, and structural properties
  • Thin film-based devices
  • Solar photovoltaics
  • Energy storage
  • Energy harvesting
  • Eco-friendly approaches
  • Earth-abundant materials

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Annealing of Boron-Doped Hydrogenated Crystalline Silicon Grown at Low Temperature by PECVD
Materials 2019, 12(22), 3795; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12223795 - 19 Nov 2019
We investigate low-temperature (<200 °C) plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) for the formation of p–n junctions. Compared to the standard diffusion or implantation processes, silicon growth at low temperature by PECVD ensures a lower thermal budget and a better control of the doping [...] Read more.
We investigate low-temperature (<200 °C) plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) for the formation of p–n junctions. Compared to the standard diffusion or implantation processes, silicon growth at low temperature by PECVD ensures a lower thermal budget and a better control of the doping profile. We previously demonstrated the successful growth of boron-doped epitaxial silicon layers (p+ epi-Si) at 180 °C. In this paper, we study the activation of boron during annealing via dark conductivity measurements of p+ epi-Si layers grown on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates. Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS) profiles of the samples, carried out to analyze the elemental composition of the p+ epi-Si layers, showed a high concentration of impurities. Finally, we have characterized the p+ epi-Si layers by low-temperature photoluminescence (PL). Results revealed the presence of a broad defect band around 0.9 eV. In addition, we observed an evolution of the PL spectrum of the sample annealed at 200 °C, suggesting that additional defects might appear upon annealing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Films for Energy Production and Storage)
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