Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

Quick, Efficient Film Deposition for Nanomaterials

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Contact ORNL About This Technology


Technology Marketing SummaryResearchers at ORNL developed a process for manufacturing a thin film from a layer of particles, as well as complex three dimensional devices. The nanomaterials are deposited, and then rapidly fused into a functional, multi-material thin-film. The process saves time and energy compared to conventional methods.

A significant challenge in conventional thin film production is the need to use multiple deposition and annealing steps for introducing and reacting each of the elements which comprise a single layer of film. This makes current deposition methods, such as those used for photovoltaic compositions, especially costly. In addition, these methods often use highly toxic chemicals in a selenization step. It is also difficult with current methods to assure batch-to-batch consistency.DescriptionThe ORNL instant method uses a pulse of thermal energy on a layer of particles to merge at least some of the particles by melting. A single precursor deposition step can be followed by a single film-forming step. By optimizing the particle composition, thin films with precise features can be made in a reproducible manner at a commercial scale. Both continuous thin films (with no pores) and thin films with various degrees of porosity can be produced with this method.Benefits• Multi-material nanoparticles can be deposited over a large surface (e.g., CdS, CIGS, CdTe) to rapidly manufacture a thin film with consistent material stoichiometry
• Different types of nanomaterials (e.g., magnetic, electrical, thermal, structural) can be selectively deposited over a single layer and rapidly consolidated into a functional thin film for rapid manufacturing of functional three-dimensional devices
• Films can be deposited uniformly in a one-step deposition of nanoparticles with optimized drop distribution, making it possible to change the coating morphology
Applications and Industries• Magnetic, optical, photonic and electronic devices
• Photovoltaic cells, laser diodes and solid state lighting
• Printed circuit board fluxing, medical nanocoatings, fuel cells, and thin-film solar cells
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
UT-B ID 201002399, 201002461DevelopmentAvailable10/04/201110/04/2011

Contact ORNL About This Technology

To: Nestor Fronco<francone@ornl.gov>