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Precise Application of Transparent Conductive Oxide Coatings for Flat Panel Displays and Photovoltaic Cells

Argonne National Laboratory

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<p align="center">
	New <em>ALD reaction chamber containing 12-in x 12-in piece of plate glass</em></p>

New ALD reaction chamber containing 12-in x 12-in piece of plate glass

Technology Marketing Summary

Argonne has developed a new method for applying thin film coatings of transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) to large panel displays and photovoltaic (PV) cells.

Description

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) employs gaseous precursors to make thin films with thicknesses from atomic mono layer to micron dimensions.  This process enables atomic-level control over film thickness and composition, and eliminates line-of-sight or constant-exposure constraints which limit conventional film deposition processes.

This process offers improved economics and performance through

  • Reduced materials consumption and  expense due to improved coating precision;
  • Reduced product rejection resulting from defect free coatings;
  • Improved product performance due to thinner, more transparent conductive coatings; and
  • Uniform coating of complex, 3D nano-structures such as electrodes for next-generation PV cells.

 

Argonne has scaled up the process, procured 12-inch square optical plate glass, and successfully demonstrated conformal coating of ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) over 3D nano-and micro-structures at this scale. 

Benefits
  • Eliminates line-of-sight or constant-exposure constraints which limit conventional film deposition processes;
  • Provides the capability to coat non-planar surfaces and complex nano-structures;
  • Produces defect-free films; and
  • Offers improved economics and performance of flat panels.
Applications and Industries
  • Photovoltaics
  • Electronics
More Information

Proof of concept.  The production cost analysis showing advantages over state-of-the-art manufacturing has not yet been completed by Argonne.   While the coating process has been demonstrated at scale, the performance of a flat panel display or PV cell has not been physically demonstrated in a full scale device. 

Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
IN-06-076, IN-09-080PrototypeAvailable05/28/201305/28/2013

Contact ANL About This Technology

To: Andrea Sagols<partners@anl.gov>