Conducting Al and Ga-doped zinc oxides; rapid optimisation and scale-up†
A high-throughput synthesis, screening and subsequent scale-up approach was utilised for the optimisation of conductive aluminium and gallium-doped zinc oxide (AZO and GZO, respectively) nanoparticles. AZO and GZO nanoparticles with up to 6 at% dopant (with respect to Zn) were directly synthesised using a laboratory scale continuous hydrothermal process at a rate of 60 g per hour. The resistivities were determined by Hall effect measurements on pressed, heat-treated discs. Both Al- and Ga-doping yielded resistivities of the order of 1 × 10−2 Ω cm for most samples; the lowest resistivity of AZO was 7.0 × 10−3 Ω cm (at 2.5 at% Al doping), and the lowest resistivity of GZO was 9.1 × 10−3 Ω cm (at 3.5 at% Ga doping), which are considered exceptionally conductive for pressed nanopowders. Synthesis of the optimised lab-scale compositions was scaled-up using a pilot-scale continuous hydrothermal process at a production rate of 8 kg per day (by dry mass); results obtained from these nanopowders generally retained resistivity trends observed for the lab-scale analogues.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2016 Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers