When sol-gel films present inhomogeneities

Categorie(s) : News, Research

Published : 2 April 2015

Thin films formed by sol-gel synthesis are not, in fact, homogeneous! Researchers at Liten’s INAC made the discovery observing an InGaZnO thin film at the ESRF, where x-ray microscopy and grazing-incidence small-angle scattering revealed the formation of mesopores and self-assembled nanometric aggregates rich in zinc and gallium. Indium oxide played the role of matrix.

Now that these inhomogeneities have been observed, scientists could find new methods for engineering sol-gel films with specific properties. The researchers are now looking at the relationship between how the aggregates are assembled and the material’s electrical properties. They foresee applications in electronics (InGaZnO is a semiconductor), magnetism, and thermoelectricity.

Contact: christine.revenant@cea.fr

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