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Photochemistry has emerged in the last few years as a powerful tool for the low-temperature processing of metal oxide thin films prepared by solution methods. Today, its implementation into the fabrication procedure makes possible the integration of amorphous semiconductors or functional crystalline oxides into flexible electronic systems at temperatures below 350 ºC. In this review, the effects of UV irradiation at the different stages of the chemical solution deposition of metal oxide thin films are presented. These stages include from the synthesis of the precursor solution to the formation of the amorphous metal-oxygen network in the film and its subsequent crystallization into the oxide phase. Photochemical reactions that can be induced in both the solution deposited layer and the irradiation atmosphere are first described, highlighting the role of the potential reactive chemical species formed in the system under irradiation, such as free radicals or oxidizing compounds. Then, the photochemical effects of continuous UV light on the film are shown, focusing on the decomposition of the metal precursors, the condensation and densification of the metal-oxygen network, and the nucleation and growth of the crystalline oxide. All these processes are demonstrated to advance the formation and crystallization of the metal oxide thin film to an earlier stage, which is ultimately translated into a lower temperature range of fabrication. The reduced energy consumption of the process upon decreasing the processing temperature, and the prospect of using light instead of heat in the synthesis of inorganic materials, make photochemistry as a promising technique for a sustainable future ever more needed in our life.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)
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The technique of washing tissue specimens with a concentrated solution of a heavy metal salt and letting it dry. The specimen will be covered with a very thin layer of the metal salt, being excluded in areas where an adsorbed macromolecule is present. The macromolecules allow electrons from the beam of an electron microscope to pass much more readily than the heavy metal; thus, a reversed or negative image of the molecule is created.
A colorless and flammable gas at room temperature and pressure. Ethylene oxide is a bactericidal, fungicidal, and sporicidal disinfectant. It is effective against most micro-organisms, including viruses. It is used as a fumigant for foodstuffs and textiles and as an agent for the gaseous sterilization of heat-labile pharmaceutical and surgical materials. (From Reynolds, Martindale The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed, p794)
Works consisting of nonfiction films and video designed to teach, instruct, or train. (From Moving Image Materials: Genre Terms, 1988)
Hypertonic sodium chloride solution. A solution having an osmotic pressure greater than that of physiologic salt solution (0.9 g NaCl in 100 ml purified water).
Works consisting of films, videos, and programs which depict actual persons or actual events. They do not include frank historical re-creations and do not attempt to judge the truth of the depiction in a film purporting to be factual or documentary in character. (From Moving Image Materials: Genre Terms, 1988)