Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Printed TiO2 layers for optoelectronic devices

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.04.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Materials science and technology   

Code Science Field
T150  Technological sciences  Material technology 

Code Science Field
2.05  Engineering and Technology  Materials engineering 
TiO2 paste, ink, TiO2 layer, screen printing, ink-jet printing, flexible optoelectronic device, dye-sensitized solar cell, photovoltaic module
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (1)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  28464  PhD Mateja Hočevar  Chemistry  Head  2011 - 2013  69 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1538  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering  Ljubljana  1626965  27,758 
The research project focuses on the development of materials for printed optoelectronics. The project is based on an interdisciplinary approach, including the preparation and characterization of new TiO2 pastes and inks for printed layers as well as their integration into optoelectronic devices (dye-sensitized solar cells, photovoltaic modules, displays or lighting systems).   The main objective of the project is to develop TiO2 pastes and inks with rheological properties suitable for screen/ink-jet printing that would allow the preparation of TiO2 layers at low temperature (below 250 °C). The research will focus on the development of a sol-gel matrix which is the basis for the preparation of TiO2 pastes and inks. Various titanium compounds, such as titanium alkoxides or salts, will be studied. Pastes and inks will be prepared with the integration of TiO2 nanoparticles into the sol-gel matrix. Screen printing and ink-jet techniques will be used for layer deposition. Annealing temperatures will be limited to 250 °C to allow the use of flexible plastic substrates. Decomposition of organic additives in the printed TiO2 layers will be supported by UV irradiation, using the advantage of the photocatalytic activity of TiO2 particles. The development of new materials will be supported by chemical, structural and morphological analyses of the printed layers, as well as by defining their electrical and optical properties.   The final goal of the project is the development of flexible optoelectronic devices based on TiO2 layers, which allow low temperature (( 250 oC) manufacturing. The main emphasis will be given to the research work oriented towards the design and manufacturing of dye-sensitized solar cells and photovoltaic modules on flexible substrates. Their performance will be evaluated under standard test conditions - STC (100 mW/cm2, AM 1.5, 25 °C) as well as under varied illumination intensities in a broad temperature range. The aim is to develop a flexible dye-sensitized solar cell with conversion efficiency over 8 % and a photovoltaic module with 6 % efficiency determined under STC. Furthermore, the possibilities for the integration of TiO2 layers in low-cost displays or lighting systems will also be investigated.
Significance for science
Within the scope of the post-doctoral project I have worked on development of new materials (sol-gel matrixes, pastes, TiO2 layers, etc.) for the flexible optoelectronic devices. I believe that the results of the research project have provided new directions for further research and development of the “low-temperature” materials, which will contribute significantly to the field of materials, nanosciences and photovoltaics. Especially the oxygen plasma treatment has been shown as novel and advance solution for TiO2 layers treatment. In addition, the reviewers of the manuscript entitled "Low-temperature versus oxygen plasma treatment of water-based TiO2 paste for dye-sensitied solar cells" which has been published in the journal "Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology" confirmed that the results are of extreme interest and they could introduce new technological developments in the field of nanotechnology and photovoltaics. The results have been presented at five conferences, two scientific journals and they have been published in a book chapter (Springer). The results are interesting therefore numerous citations are expected in the following years. In addition, new collaborations with foreign laboratories were established.
Significance for the country
The optoelectronic devices fabricated with simple and low-cost technologies (low-cost materials, low-temperature processing, printing technology, roll-to-roll manufacturing) could provide a significantly foster these technologies towards their industrialization and on the other hand in our daily lives. Within the scope of the post-doctoral project I have been focused on this issue with a main aim of developing new, simple and energy-efficient production of TiO2 paste, which allows printing of TiO2 pastes and the formation of TiO2 layers at low temperatures (below 250 °C). The goal of the project was the realization of flexible solar devices on polymer substrates. The oxygen plasma treatment of TiO2 layers have been tested and successfully introduced, which is a novelty in the field of production dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Successful simplifying the production of TiO2 layers for DSSCs (simple method and avoid time-consuming process) is an important step for their successful industrialization. Most probably the DSSCs will never provide significant sustainable energy supply. However, their simple and low-cost technologies might be an opportunity for Slovenian industry to produce specific products with demand low-power DC electricity and does not demand stability over several decades (e.g. PV for backpacks, bags, tents, chargers for mobile phones, tablets, power supply for calculators, watches, etc.). In addition the challenge for the industry is also the integration of printed solar cells in more advanced printed systems (e.g. sensor - battery - solar cell).
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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