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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/L017709/1
Title Sustainable Manufacturing of Transparent Conducting Oxide (TCO) Inks and Thin Films
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 25%;
Energy Efficiency(Residential and commercial) 25%;
Not Energy Related 50%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 40%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Chemical Engineering) 20%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 40%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr CJ Carmalt
No email address given
University College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 March 2014
End Date 28 August 2019
Duration 66 months
Total Grant Value £2,281,220
Industrial Sectors Electronics; Manufacturing
Region London
Programme Manufacturing : Manufacturing
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr CJ Carmalt , Chemistry, University College London (99.991%)
  Other Investigator Professor RA Harris , Sch of Mechanical and Manufacturing Eng, Loughborough University (0.001%)
Professor P Conway , Sch of Mechanical and Manufacturing Eng, Loughborough University (0.001%)
Dr DA Hutt , Sch of Mechanical and Manufacturing Eng, Loughborough University (0.001%)
Dr UW Kahagala Gamage , Chemistry, Loughborough University (0.001%)
Dr J Darr , Chemistry, University College London (0.001%)
Professor IP Parkin , Chemistry, University College London (0.001%)
Professor ES Fraga , Chemical Engineering, University College London (0.001%)
Dr P Angeli , Chemical Engineering, University College London (0.001%)
Dr DJ Southee , Loughborough Design School, Loughborough University (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Pilkington Group Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , DuPont Teijin Films UK Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Malvern Instruments Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Sun Chemical, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Teer Coatings Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , PlasmaQuest Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Innovate UK (0.000%)
Project Contact , Akzo Nobel (0.000%)
Project Contact , The Manufacturing Technology Centre: MTC (0.000%)
Project Contact , IMRC:A Centre for Innovative (0.000%)
Project Contact , Qioptiq Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , Diamond Coatings Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Xaar Plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Cambridge Integrated Knowledge Centre (0.000%)
Project Contact , Supersolar Hub (0.000%)
Project Contact , UK Innovation Forum Limited (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract This project seeks to develop processes and resources towards sustainable and inexpensive high quality transparent conducting oxide (TCO) films (and printed tracks) on float glass, plastics and steel. In particular replacement materials for Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) and F-doped Tin Oxide (FTO). These materials are used in low-e window coatings (> 5B pa), computers, phones and PV devices. The current electronics market alone is worth in excess of 0.9 Trillion and every tablet PC uses ca 3g of tin. Indium is listed as a critical element- available in limited amounts often in unstable geopolitical areas. Tin metal has had the biggest rise in price of any metal consecutively in the last four years (valued at > 30K per ton) and indium is seen as one of the most difficult to source elements. In this project we will develop sustainable upscaled routes to TCO materials from precursors containing earth abundant elements (titanium, aluminium, zinc) with equivalent or better figures of merit to existing TCOs.Our method uses Aerosol assisted (AA) CVD to develop large scale coatings and developing new manufacturing approach to printed TCOs using highly uniform nanoparticle dispersions. AACVD has not been upscaled- although the related Atmospheric pressure (AP) CVD is widely used industrially. APCVD was developed in the UK (Pilkington now NSG) for commercial window coating methods- and in the UK glass industry supports >5000 jobs in the supply chain. Our challenge is to take our known chemistry and develop the underpinning science to demonstrate scale up routes to large area coatings. This will include pilot scale AACVD, nanoparticle dispersions and inks. Common precursor sets will be utilized in all the techniques. Our focus will be to ensure that the UK maintains a world-leading capability in the manufacturing of and with sustainable TCOs. This will be achieved by delivering two new scale up pathways one based on AACVD- for large area coatings and inks and dispersi for automotive and PC use. We will use known and sustainable metal containing precursors to deposit TCOs that do not involve rare elements (e.g. based on Ti, Zn, Al). Key issues will be (1) taking the existing aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition (AACVD) process from small lab scale to a large pilot lab scale reactor (TRL3) and (2) developing a new approach to TCOs from transparent nanoparticle dispersions synthesized in a continuous hydrothermal flow systems (CHFS) reactor using an existing EPSRC funded pilot plant process (kg/h scale). Nano-dispersions will be formulated for use by the rest of the team, in jet and screen printing, advanced microwave processing and TCO application testing. Industry partners will provide engineering support, guidance on the aerosol transport issues, scale up and dynamic coating trials (Pilkington now NSG), jet and screen printing on glass (Xaar, Akzo Nobel, CPI) and use the TCO targets for Magnetron Sputtering of thin films on plastics (Teer Coatings). The two strands will be overseen by Life-cycle modelling and cost benefit analyses to take a holistic approach to the considerations of energy, materials consumption and waste and, in consultation with key stakeholders and policy makers, identify best approaches to making improvement or changes, e.g. accounting for environmental legislation in nanomaterials, waste disposal or recyclability of photovoltaics. We believe there is a real synergy of having two strands as they are linked by common scale up manufacturing issues and use similar process chemistries and precursors
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 17/03/14