Feb 24, 2015
Self-organization in a sol-gel thin film

Pores in a semiconductor thin film (left), zinc-rich nanoclusters (center), gallium-rich nanoclusters (right) observed by microscopy (first row) and small-angle X-ray scattering (second row).

Self-organized nanoclusters in a thin film elaborated by sol-gel, this is possible ! The nanocluster organization is closely related to the pore arrangement in the annealed films. This discovery of scientists from INAC/SP2M, LITEN and University Grenoble Alpes still widens the applications of sol-gel thin films.


In-Ga-Zn-O is a visibly-transparent semiconductor, playing a critical role in the fabrication of many current and emerging optoelectronic devices. Scientists showed, for the first time, that self-organized nanoclusters were obtained in In-Ga-Zn-O thin films elaborated by sol-gel. Microscopy and grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GISAXS) reveal the formation of nanometer-sized nanoclusters together with the spontaneous creation of a mesopore pattern.


Our results on self-organized nanoclusters could be excellent models for novel fundamental studies of nanoclusters in mesoporous matrices. This approach could be used, for example, in electronics, magnetism, and thermoelectricity.


The GISAXS experiment was performed on the CRG/D2AM beamline at the ESRF in Grenoble.


C. Revenant, M. Benwadih, and M. Maret, « Self-organized nanoclusters in solution-processed mesoporous In-Ga-Zn-O thin films », Chem. Commun., 2015, 51 (7), 1218.


Last update : 02/24 2015 (1095)


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