TC16: Nanostructured glass and coating by wet chemistry

At present, the main goal of TC16 is to perform collaborative research focused around the development of nanostructured functional coatings for solar management, in particular doped-glass coatings for photovoltaic solar cells and coatings based on ZnO doped with aliovalent cations (for example Ga, Ge, Si, etc.) for solar control. Sol-gel processing has been used to prepare up- and down-converting coatings based on aluminosilicate glass doped with Er, Tb and Yb. Colloidal chemistry has been used to synthesize doped ZnO nanoparticles which were dispersed in proper solvents for deposition on glass. A project supported by CTC has been instrumental in carrying out collaborative research on the above topics between the Universities of Lisbon and Padova.

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Activities and plans


- Meetings attended

21-26 January, Daytona Beach (USA), ICACC 2018 – 42 International Conference and exposition on Advanced Ceramics and Composites: “Degenerately doped zinc oxide nanocrystals as plasmonic and chemoresitive gas sensors” (A. Martucci, Invited speaker).

20-24 May, San Antonio (USA) – GOMD 2018 – Glass & Optical Materials Division annual meeting: “Effect of the sol-gel matrix on the luminescence properties of lanthanadie ions” (R. Almeida, Invited speaker) and “Solution processed nanostrucutred materials for functional applications” (A. Martucci, Invited speaker).

23-26 September, Yokohama (Japan) – ICG Annual Meeting 2018 – “Nanostrucutred sol-gel film for optical applications” (A. Martucci, invited speaker) and "Oxyfluoride glass-ceramics: looking for 21st century photonic materials" (A. Duran, invited speaker).

- Collaborative research project

In the framework of the CTC-funded collaborative research project “Nanocrystalline sol-gel coatings for solar energy applications”, the sol–gel method was used to prepare multi-component films with a complex structure, including photonic bandgap multilayer architectures. In particular, the following coatings have been developed:

  1. Down- and up-converting coatings containing rare earths, which absorb in the visible and emit in the NIR (down-conversion) or vice-versa (up-conversion), have been developed for photovoltaic solar cell application.
  2. Solar-control coatings which can reflect the sun light. The studied sol-gel coatings were based on ZnO:Ga or ZnO:Ge.

In the framework of such project a Master's student for the Univ. of Padova (Daniel Tezze) visited the IST lab (in Lisboa) in December 2017 and performed optical characterization of some solar control coatings; he got the Master's degree in Materials Science in December 2018. Also Luís Santos, from IST, visited Padova January 2018 and performed some grazing incidence X-ray diffraction measurements on up-converting films.

The results obtained so far include: XRD, ellipsometry, SEM, plus Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopies. Samples were exchanged between the two participating laboratories and the results obtained have been discussed during meetings in Padova, Lisbon, San Antonio and Yokohama.

- Publications                

– Rocío Estefanía Rojas-Hernandeza, N. P. Baradas, E. Alves, Luís F. Santosa, Rui M. Almeida, “Up-conversion emission of aluminosilicate and titania films doped with Er3+ / Yb3+ by ion implantation and sol-gel solution doping” Surf. Coat. Technol. 355, 162 (2018).

–  Rocío Estefanía Rojas-Hernandeza, Luís F. Santos, Rui M. Almeida, “Tb3+ / Yb3+ doped aluminosilicate phosphors for near infrared emission and efficient down-conversion”  J. Lumin. 197, 180 (2018).

– Rocío Estefanía Rojas-Hernandeza, Luís F. Santos, Rui M. Almeida, “Photonic crystal assisted up-converter based on Tb3+ / Yb3+  doped aluminosilicate glass”, Opt. Mat.  83, 61 (2018).

– M. Guglielmi A. Martucci, "Sol-gel nanocomposites for optical applications", J. Sol-Gel Sci. Technol. 88, 551 (2018).

– F. Enrichi, S. Belmokhtar, A. Martucci et al., “Ag nanoaggregates as efficient broadband sensitizers for Tb3+ ions in silica-zirconia ion-exchanged sol-gel glasses and glass-ceramics”, Opt. Mat. 84, 668 (2018).

– W. Zhu,T. Kammuri, S. Kitamura, M. Sturaro, A. Martucci, G. Pezzotti, "Structure and composition evaluation of heavily Ge-doped ZnO nanocrystal films", J. Phys. D. 51, 085302 (2018)


In 2019, TC16 plans to continue the development of nanostructured sol-gel coatings doped with sensitizer/acceptor lanthanide pairs for frequency conversion in photovoltaic solar cells, in order to increase their efficiency. Solar-control coatings will continue to be investigated as well, based on doped ZnO material. Moreover new nanostructured materials for energy of photonic applications will be developed. R. Almeida and A. Martucci will edit a book entiled "Sol-gel derived optical and photonic materials".

At present, there is a joint Ph.D. student of Rui Almeida (TC chair) and Alessandro Martucci (vice-chair) who is expected to spend a few months at the university of Padova in 2019.

Committee Members: back to top

Almeida, Rui
Castro, Yolanda
Chen, Gang
Duran, Alicia (Prof)
Jitianu, Andrei
Martucci, Alex Committee Position: Chair
Pascual, Maria
Ribiero, Sidney
Santos, Luis
Tadanaga, Kiyoharu
Xu, Jian
Yang, Hui

Committee Contact Details: back to top

TC16: Nanostructured glass and coating by wet chemistry

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