Adriana Creatore

Interfaces in future energy technologies

Presently, novel ALD merits are unraveled when atomic layer processing meets energy conversion and storage technologies such as photovoltaics, batteries and (electro-)catalysis. Growth control on physically challenging substrates (e.g. 1D and 2D materials, porous scaffolds, and powders) and material synthesis ranging from nanoparticle to continuous films are tangible examples. Our contribution to this exciting research area is the design and engineering of atomic scale processed interfaces and thin films, which are key to promotion of selective charge carrier transport in energy devices, such as metal halide perovskite solar cells, tandem solar cells, (Li-ion) batteries and (electro-)catalysis. 

Interface engineering for next generation energy technologies

Our approach is multidisciplinary, as it embraces material science and solid-state physics, together with the integration of atomically grown thin films and interfaces in devices. Moreover, the design and engineering of interfaces for future energy technologies require atomic scale processing to go beyond its state-of-the art. This is the case of ALD processing on 'chemically challenging substrates', such as metal halide perovskite absorbers for single and tandem photovoltaics devices. This application field demands advancement in the level of control in ALD growth to avoid modification of the perovskite surface and bulk chemistry. Scientifically, we pursue this goal by gaining insights, with the aid of in situ diagnostics, into the ALD surface reactions and film growth mechanisms on perovskite. Another exciting example is the field of (electro-)catalysis. When 'borrowing' from ALD the principle of digital design of materials, we can synthesize electro-catalysts with atomic precision in terms of morphology, chemical composition and size and distribution of (nano-)particles.


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