TC16: Nanostructures

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

20-24 February, Jeju (Korea), MCARE 2017 – Materials Challenges in Alternative and Renewable Energy: “Photonic crystal assisted spectral conversion in lanthanide doped sol-gel materials”        (R. Almeida, Invited speaker; Luís Santos).

12-17 November, Tenerife (Spain) – SHIFT 2017 – Spectral Shaping for Biomedical and Energy Applications: “Photonic crystal assisted rare-earth doped frequency conversion in solar energy applications” (R. Almeida, Invited speaker; Luís Santos).

26 November – 1 December, Boston (USA) – MRS Fall meeting 2017 – “Degenerately doped metal oxide nanocrystals as plasmonic and chemoresistive gas sensors” (A. Martucci, 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.

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 and Lisbon.

- Publications                

- Tiago V. Ribeiro, Luís F. Santos, M. Clara Gonçalves, Rui M. Almeida, “Heavily Yb-doped silicate glass thick films”, J. Sol-Gel Sci. Technol. 81 (2017) 105–113. DOI: 10.1007/s10971-016-4071-7

–  E.L. Payrer, A.L. Joudrier, P. Aschehoug, R.M. Almeida and J.L. Deschanvres, “Up-conversion  luminescence in Er/Yb-doped YF3 thin films deposited by LI-MOCVD”, J. Luminescence  187 (2017) 247 – 254.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jlumin.2017.02.051

- João Ferreira, Luis F. Santos, Rui M. Almeida, "Sol-gel derived Yb:YAG polycrystalline ceramics for laser applications", J. Sol-Gel Sci. Technol. 83 (2017) 436–446. DOI: 10.1007/s10971-017-4420-1      

– Rui M. Almeida, Tiago Ribeiro, Luís F. Santos, “Sol-gel derived active material for Yb thin-disk lasers”, Materials 10, 1020 (14 pp.).   DOI: 10.3390/ma10091020

- Wenliang Zhu,Takuya Kammuri, Shoichiro Kitamura, Marco Sturaro, Alessandro Martucci, Giuseppe Pezzotti, "Structure and composition evaluation of heavily Ge-doped ZnO nanocrystal films", submitted to J. Phys. D.


In 2018, 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.

Committee Members: back to top

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

Committee Contact Details: back to top

TC16: Nanostructures
Prof Rui Almeida
Instituto Superior Tecnico

Email TC16: Nanostructures Using The Form Below.


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