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Posted: Jul 16, 2012

New solution-processable 3D transparent conductive film - heads up for electronics devices

(Nanowerk News) Scientists from NUS, one of the world’s leading university, have demonstrated that it is possible to replace ITO in dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) with 3-D TC fabricated using a cheap aqueous method. The solar cell efficiencies of DSSC fabricated using different TCs are comparable. The novel TCs created by this method are not restricted to planar-geometries. Low temperature process used during the synthesis is the crucial factor in designing architectured electrodes on any arbitrary substrates. The researchers were also able to produce optically smooth and conductive TC on large glass panels, thus widening the potential applications of this material.
The achievement can allow various electronics manufacturers to use the new design electrodes to make the same device at a lower cost and higher efficiency (50- 70%). This will greatly enhance the attractiveness of such unique electrodes in various electronics consumer market.
“ITO is expensive so we decided to develop cheaper alternative-solution processable electrodes of architectured 3D structures of tunable optical and electrical properties” said Dr Ho Ghim Wei, the Principal investigator, Assistant Professor of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at NUS. “The TCs are designed to scatter light and transport photogenerated electrons through homojunction electrodes which enhance electrical performance” said Kevin Moe, a current graduate student working on this project.
Current electronic devices uses ITO as the electrode fabricated using vacuum process, which is not cost-effective. By employing an aqueous route, it is possible to make large area TC for DSCC and other devices.
One of their publications on TCs development was published in the Energy and Environmental Science journal earlier this year. The scientists have since shown efficiencies that have exceeded the published results. NUS scientists are also exploiting the developed materials for new applications that will benefit from the low cost and scalability process.
The above-mentioned invention has been filed with the US Patent & Trade Marks Office.
Source: National University of Singapore
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