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Development of conductive nanostructured thin film transparent in the 3-5 micron wavelength on plastic/ceramic substrate

The aim is to develop transparent conducting oxide nanostructured films by a pulsed laser deposition technique with multifunctional properties (hydrophobicty, scratch).

The main goal of the proposed research is to develop thin electrically conductive films that are optically transparent in the 3-5 micron wavelength range. Such films are not available commercially. The motivation to develop these films is the need for films that are protective against electromagnetic interference, humidity, fog and absorption of particles on windows of IR (Infrared) detectors, sensors and cameras. The novelty of the proposed research also includes developing deposition processes based on pulsed laser ablation (PLD - Pulsed Laser Deposition) and sputtering of multi-component materials. The main advantage of PLD deposition is preservation of the composition of the target in the film, deposition at relatively low temperatures and high rates (about few microns per hour) compared to alternative deposition techniques. The sputtering deposition method can be operated in a way where two targets are sputtered simultaneously (co-sputtering) under different conditions, leading to a multi-component thin film. The composition of the film can be varied by changing the sputtering power of each target. The motivation of the industrial partner in this research is a strong wish to expand its product variety and increase sales in ISRAEL and abroad. It should be mentioned that the company has an experience of more than 20 years in optical coatings, based on ion-assisted evaporation for various applications. Their fabrication process is less suitable for deposition of the films and the collaboration with the academic partners is expected to provide better precision in exploring the proper materials and parameters to deposit the desired films. The added value of the product is to have a top coat (few nanometre thick) on the conducting film, which is hydrophobic and anti-fog, dust repellent and scratch resistant. This is achieved by the combination of sol-gel based technology from the Italian partner. Other activities foreseen in the present project: Development of new skills, commercialisation of the coatings, employment, and training strategy; Persons to be trained and the objective of the training: * Intra consortium: Independent members of the research teams within the two partners (UNVERSITY OF L'AQUILA in ITALY) and (TECHNION, in ISRAEL), staff and students in the academic institutions will benefit from training on new processes development. Experts in many areas would benefit significantly from an overview of processing capabilities, requirements for the small and large-scale substrates and specific analytical techniques under this project proposal. * Extra consortium: Mutual exchange of research teams will foster between the two countries in their research field. These targeted people will benefit from knowledge dissemination on scale-up processing of the developed technology so as to provide a better understanding of relationships between process parameters and product properties. In this way the project proposal training activities will contribute to improving the skills and knowledge of workers in end-user companies and to better preparing students going onto the labour market or further research activities. Keywords: transparent conducing oxide films, nanostructured films, electrical conductivity.
Acronym: 
NANO-CONDUCT
Project ID: 
3 913
Start date: 
01-10-2006
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
750 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Micro- and Nanotechnology related to physical and exact sciences
Market Area: 
Coatings and adhesives manufactures

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.