Active layers of ZnO: AL: RE for solar element


15.820.18.02. 05/BE


Active layers of ZnO: AL: RE for solar element


The bilateral agreement between the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Moldova and the Belarusian Republican Foundation for Fundamental Research

Execution period:



Ghitu Institute of Electronic Engineering and Nanotechnologies, ASM

Francisk Skorina Gomel State University, Republic of Belarus

Project Leader:

RUSU Emil, dr. hab.


Laboratory of Nanotechnologies


Zinc oxide, ions of rare-earth elements, solar cells, conversion efficiency, spin-coating, magnetron sputtering



In recent years, owing to excellent physical properties, zinc oxide has occupied an increasingly prominent place in optoelectronics and nanoelectronics. Of particular interest for applications in optoelectronics and transparent electronics are transparent conductive films based on zinc oxide. At present, the use of zinc oxide in this area is mostly limited to the production of transparent contacts.

The efficiency of solar batteries can be increased via converting the wavelengths of the solar spectrum to activate photons whose energy does not correspond to the absorption range of a semiconductor device (down conversion and up conversion). This conversion can be implemented via doping a transparent material (ZnO) with rare-earth ions.

One of the methods used by the authors of the project is the deposition of zinc oxide from organometallic compounds using zinc acetylacetonate as a source of zinc to provide a high quality of the material. Another method developed by the executors of the project is based on magnetron sputtering, which has a number of advantages, such as high reproducibility of the deposition process, the possibility of changing the deposition rate of the material, and low substrate temperature. The third method that will be used for the project implementation is spin-coating; it provides the formation of nanometer-thick planar films with high homogeneity and reproducibility of parameters.

The main objective of the project is to develop cost-effective technologies for the preparation of planar and nanostructured active layers based on zinc oxide doped with aluminum and rare-earth ions (Eu, Er, Yb, Tb) for application in optoelectronics and production of silicon solar cells with high conversion efficiency owing to the use of a wider range of the solar spectrum.

The implementation of the project using the above methods will result in the development of a technology for planar and nanostructured ZnO:Al:RE films with given parameters and high reproducibility of morphological, electric, and optical properties.

The end result of the project will be testing of the resulting ZnO:Al:RE films as an active layer for solar cells.