E-MRS Spring Meeting, Symposium AA: “Solution processing and properties of functional oxide thin films and nanostructures II”

The aim of this symposium is to offer an overview and a forum for the interchange of information and expertise on the current state of research on synthesis and processing of solution-derived oxide and nanocomposite thin films, patterned surfaces and nanostructures, including their properties and applications.


In recent years, significant progress has been made in the synthesis of a wide range of advanced inorganic materials using chemical solution routes. Solution-based processing is generally more flexible in terms of precursor or substrate selection and related processing procedures, and is faster and less expensive as compared to vapor deposition routes. These methods, such as sol-gel, metallo-organic decomposition, hydrothermal growth, colloidal synthesis, and chemical bath deposition, provide versatile and cost-effective manufacturing routes to large-area and high-quality inorganic films, nanocomposites, and functional entities like nanorods and nanoparticles.

Recent developments in synthesis and processing have opened new ways to achieve enhanced and/or novel functionalities for applications in electronics, photovoltaics, photoelectrochemical cells, sensors, actuators, energy harvesting and storage devices, memory devices, magnetic sensors, spintronics, etc. To name a few examples: the current technological advances in novel patterning methods (e.g. ink jet printing, soft lithography) allow faster and less expensive processing and represent bottom-up alternatives to established solution deposition of thin films in combination with top-down lithography; Novel synthesis routes yield well-defined optically active nanostructures for next generation photovoltaics; And the integration of oxides with temperature-sensitive substrates like flexible polymers requires rational design of novel low temperature processing schemes.

The symposium will address solution processing of nanostructured oxides and related hybrid materials with specific functionalities depending on processing conditions. Topics to be covered are solution synthesis, structure evolution and phase growth, fabrication of functional thin films, porous networks, and oxide nanostructures, including their assembly into functional components. The characterization by advanced analytical methods, establishment of processing-structure-property relationships, and the application of solution-derived oxides in forefront technologies are addressed. Finally, integration issues in realization of devices will also be considered.

Last but not least we have to mention the large success of last year (2014) symposium on the same subject. It attracted a large number of participants (in total, 257 accepted abstracts were presented), showing the broad interest among materials scientists inside and outside Europe in a dedicated platform on solution processing of inorganic (nano)materials.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Solution chemistry and synthesis
  • Low temperature processing
  • Solution-derived epitaxial films
  • Green processing
  • Interfaces and nanoscale effects
  • Nano-composites and hybrid materials
  • Low-dimensional oxide nanostructures (particles, wires, sheets)
  • Solution-based patterning, printing and self-assembly, including ink development
  • Semiconductors, transparent conducting oxides
  • Ferroelectric, dielectric, multiferroic heterostructures, and thin films
  • Optical materials and nanostructures for photovoltaics
  • Materials for energy conversion and storage
  • Magnetic nanoparticles, thin films, composites, and applications
  • Structure-property relations and engineered materials

Preliminary list of invited speakers:

  • Pascal Buskens, TNO Netherland, “Nanoparticles and nanocomposite coatings with optical functionalities
  • Elisabetta Comini, University of Padova, “Metal oxides nanowires chemical sensors
  • Catherine Elissalde, Université de Bordeaux, “Nanostructured ferroelectric ceramics: fast processing, strain and interface issues
  • Johan E. ten Elshof, University of Twente, “Kinetics of exfoliation and restacking of 2-dimensional oxide nanosheets in solution and its influence on the formation of epitaxial Langmuir-Blodgett films
  • Nicola Hüsing, Salzburg University, “Mixed metal oxide nanostructures
  • Jon Ihlefeld, Sandia National Laboratories “Room Temperature Voltage Tunable Thermal Conductivity in Ferroelectric Thin Films via Reconfigurable Domain Walls”
  • Maarit Karppinen, Aalto University, “Atomic/molecular layer deposited (ALD/MLD) oxide-organic superlattice thin films
  • Maksym Kovalenko, ETH Zurich, “Modular design of functional thin films and nanostructures using colloidal nanocrystals as building blocks
  • Mika Linden, University of Ulm, “Particulate mesoporous silica films as drug delivery matrices
  • Vera Meynen, “Materials synthesis: the art of carefully controlling and understanding all materials aspects to create innovation and improve application
  • Jooho Moon, Yonsei University, ”Sol-gel derived functional oxide-metal nanowire nanocomposite films for photovoltaic applications
  • Peter Müller-Buschbaum, Technical University Munich, “Tailoring titania nanostructures for solar cell applications
  • Markus Niederberger, ETH Zurich, “Solution processing of nanoparticles into multicomponent films
  • Francisco Rivadulla, CIQUS-USC, ”Large area deposition of functional epitaxial thin films and multilayers by polymer assisted deposition
  • Yaroslav Romanyuk, EMPA, “Chemical bath deposition of doped ZnO thin films for photovoltaics applications

Tentative list of scientific committee members:

  • Lourdes Calzada, ICMM-CSIC, Spain
  • Adrien Carretero-Genevrier, Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon, France
  • Mari-Ann Einarsrud, NTNU, Norway
  • Mauro Epifani, IMM-CNR, Lecce, Italy
  • Thierry Gacoin, CNRS-École Polytechnique, France
  • Georg Garnweitner, Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany
  • Silvia Gross, University of Padova, Italy
  • Martyn Pemble, Tyndall National Institute, Ireland
  • Teresa Puig, ICMAB-CSIC, Spain
  • Theodor Schneller, RWTH Aachen, Germany
  • Bernd Smarsly, Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany
  • Marlies K. Van Bael, Hasselt University, Belgium
  • Isabel Van Driesche, University of Ghent, Belgium