In storage devices (electrochemical capacitors or Li-ion batteries), the electrodes are usually oxides or carbon-based materials. However, other types of materials can be envisaged.
Our research aims at studying the possible applications of new ranges of ceramics such as transition metal nitrides. Particularly promising results have already been obtained with vanadium nitride (VN) or with a novel material specifically developed at the Institut Jean Lamour (RuN).
In the context of collaborations at the scale of the laboratory and at the national level, we have developed a new theme centred on the development and the characterization of layers that absorb the sun's rays.
These are based on copper- and/or zinc-based materials. The layers are developed by magnetron sputtering and they can exhibit particularly high conversion yields if their preparation and treatment conditions are perfectly controlled. Our research fits with this aim.
In contrast with the vast majority of oxides, copper-based oxides are p-type conductors that show a wide field of applications for the development of new devices such as transparent p-n junctions or gas sensors, for example.
With over 10 years of experience concerning this type of material in thin layers, we now study the effects of synthesis conditions and of treatment with different oxides based on copper. Special attention is paid to the development of new components and to the study of their physical properties.
Finally, we also work on the growth of such materials in thin film form and especially on the epitaxial growth at room temperature using the “local epitaxial growth effect”.