Multifunctional coatings based on ZnO nanowires for selective sensing and efficient solar harvesting (MultiFun)


Project no.: 01.2.2-LMT-K-718-02-0011
Project website:

Project description:

Large scale assembly of nanowires (NWs) into functional materials remains a problem, since NW synthesis is mostly limited by the surface of growth, hindering their wide application. Moreover, many applications require properties, which are contradictive and therefore could not be effectively realized in a single material. This project will develop multifunctional coatings based on ZnO nanowires. Novel method for the high yield production of ZnO NWs will be developed and implemented. The application of such coatings will be targeted for 2 state-of-the-art performance devices: a) a multifunctional anti-reflecting coating on solar cell, which not only lowers the reflectance and increases solar cell efficiency, but also repels water, degrades the organic pollutants, down-shifts the UV to better fit the solar spectra, simultaneously protecting from UV; b) multifunctional gas sensor array, sensitive and selective to gases, activated by light, therefore uses low power and can be used wirelessly. Both devices can be printed on any surface and used for stretchable electronics. Novel methodologies will be used: NW functionalization will be investigated by the in situ environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM), experimental data will be analyzed with the Design of Experiment (DoE) method in order to find interactions among functionalized ZnO NW properties.

Project funding:

This research project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund according to the 2014–2020 Operational Programme for the European Union Funds’ Investments, under measure’s No. 01.2.2-LMT-K-718 activity “Attracting Foreign Researchers for Research Implementation”.

Project results:

Novel synthesis equipment for the high yield synthesis of ZnO NWs will be developed and adapted in KTU. Since ZnO NWs show promise in other fields (i.e. electronics, drug delivery, etc.) this equipment and gained experience will be used in the future projects and will enable development of related products after completion of the project. Developed ZnO NW coatings for solar cells and sensors through KTU partnering companies and other contacts, will be presented to stakeholders, seeking for commercial application. KTU will be responsible for the protection of the intellectual property gained during the project and will take care of the patent servicing and licensing.

Period of project implementation: 2018-11-05 - 2023-05-04

Project coordinator: Kaunas University of Technology

Simas Račkauskas, Simas Račkauskas

2018 - 2023

Department of Physics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Institute of Materials Science