Optoelectronic Materials

M3 Lab: Optoelectronic Materials @ IMS

Our research focusses on the controlled growth and study of novel materials and thin films with functional optical and electrical properties. These materials and thin films find application in state of the art optoelectronic devices such as solar cells, LEDs, transparent electronics, photonics and other energy efficient devices. We work on three main research lines: 1. Vapor-deposited hybrid and inorganic halide perovskites, 2. Transparent conducting oxides (TCOs), 3. P-type transparent material discovery.

Latest news:

  1. Tatiana Soto Montero received the ‘Best oral presentation award’ at the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists conference 2021
  2. Yury Smirnov received the ‘Best poster award for Scientific Content’ at the Tandem PV Conference 2021.
  3. Our work has been featured by Coherent, Inc Success Stories. Check it out: https://www.coherent.com/news/success-stories/university-of-twente     

Research Projects:

I.   Vapor-deposition of Halide Perovskites: Pulsed (Dual) Laser Deposition as Alternative Technique

CREATE: Crafting Complex Hybrid Materials for Sustainable Energy Conversion (ERC funded project).

In CREATE we are developing a unique in-vacuum pulsed dual laser deposition (PDLD) method that decouples the deposition of the organic and inorganic sources during growth. This allows the exploration of a full breadth of organic-inorganic halide perovskite compositions and structural motifs, paving the way for discovering new, non-toxic, stable hybrid materials for efficient solar cells, LEDs and beyond.

Pulsed Laser Deposition of Halide Perovskites

Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) has offered unique options for the development of complex materials thin film growth, allowing stoichiometric transfer and multi-compound deposition independent of the relative volatility of the elements. We are exploring the potential of PLD as a single-source, solvent free deposition method of halide perovskite thin films.

For more information please check our publications on the topic:

  1. Pulsed Laser Deposition of Cs2AgBiBr6: from Mechanochemically Synthesized Powders to Dry, Single-Step Deposition. Chem. Mater. 2021, 33, 18, 7417–7422. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c02054
  2. Single-Source Pulsed Laser Deposition of MAPbI3. 2021 IEEE 48th Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC). https://doi.org/10.1109/PVSC43889.2021.9518799
  3. Single-Source, Solvent-Free, Room Temperature Deposition of Black γ-CsSnI3 Films. Adv. Mater. Interfaces, 2020, 7, 2000162. https://doi.org/10.1002/admi.202000162

II.   Transparent Conducting Oxides (TCO) for Solar Cells

TCOs are essential in various solar cells, such as silicon heterojunction and perovskite-based solar cells. To allow the maximum amount of sunlight into the cells, the front TCO should be transparent from the UV to the NIR; and to guarantee unhindered carrier extraction, the TCO should have high lateral conductivity and low contact resistance with the adjacent layers of the device. This is a challenge, due to the intrinsic trade-off between transparency and conductivity. Another challenge is the deposition of the TCO without damaging the exposed layers of the solar cells during growth. All these requirements motivate the search for material compositions and synthesis of TCOs, that lead to optimum conductivity and broadband transparency, for example by achieving high electron mobilities, while avoiding damage to the device by performing a gentle, soft-landing deposition. One of the techniques we are exploring for this is pulsed-laser deposition (PLD). Materials we are currently studying include zirconium-doped indium oxide (In2O3:Zr), tin-doped indium oxide (ITO), tantalum-doped tin oxide (SnO2:Ta) and lanthanum-doped barium tin oxide (LBSO).

Main publications on TCOs: 

  1. Wafer-Scale Pulsed Laser Deposition of ITO for Solar Cells: Reduced Damage vs Interfacial Resistance. Materials Advances, (2022).  https://doi.org/10.1039/D1MA01225H   
  2. Scalable Pulsed Laser Deposition of Transparent Rear Electrode for Perovskite Solar Cells. Adv. Mater. Technol., 6, 2, 2000856 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1002/admt.202000856  
  3. Sputtered transparent electrodes for optoelectronic devices: Induced damage and mitigation strategies. Matter, 4 (11), (2021). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matt.2021.09.021
  4. Origins of infrared transparency in highly conductive perovskite stannate BaSnO3, APL Materials, (2020)
  5. Transparent Electrodes for Efficient Optoelectronics. Adv. Electron. Mater. Vol. 3 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1002/aelm.201600529

III.   P-type Transparent Material Discovery

NWO Start-Up funded project: Bridging the p-type transparent materials discovery gap  (BRIDGE).

Most TCOs and semiconducting oxides known to date are n-type. The challenge for p-type conductivity in oxides originates from a highly-localized oxygen 2p valence band (low hole mobilities) and the positioning of the valence band well below the vacuum level (high ionization potentials). Recent computational predictions propose strategies to achieve valence band delocalization, lowering the hole effective mass and increasing hole mobility. We are exploring these hypothesis by synthesizing the materials and characterizing the optoelectronic and compositional properties to determine the most promising compositions for p-type transparent materials and optimize them for application as p-type contacts in solar cells.

Main publications on p-type TCMs:

  1. Bridging the p-type transparent conductive materials gap: synthesis approaches for disperse valence band materials. J. of Photonics for Energy, 10 (4) (2020). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.JPE.10.042002  

The team


PhD candidates


Master students

Bachelor students


Former members:

IV.   Funding


V.   Selected Publications

  1. Yury Smirnov,   Pierre-Alexis Repecaud,   Leonard Tutsch,   Ileana Florea,   Kassio Zanoni,   Abhyuday Paliwal,   Henk J. Bolink,   Pere Roca,   Martin Bivour  and  Monica Morales-Masis*. “Wafer-Scale Pulsed Laser Deposition of ITO for Solar Cells: Reduced Damage vs Interfacial Resistance”. Materials Advances, (2022) (Accepted manuscript). https://doi.org/10.1039/D1MA01225H  
  2. Erkan Aydin, Cesur Altinkaya, Yury Smirnov, Muhammad A Yaqin, Kassio PS Zanoni, Abhyuday Paliwal, Yuliar Firdaus, Thomas G Allen, Thomas D Anthopoulos, Henk J Bolink, Monica Morales-Masis, Stefaan De Wolf. “Sputtered transparent electrodes for optoelectronic devices: Induced damage and mitigation strategies”. Matter, 4 (11), (2021). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matt.2021.09.021
  3. Vivien M Kiyek, Yorick A Birkhölzer, Yury Smirnov, Martin Ledinsky, Zdenek Remes, Jamo Momand, Bart J Kooi, Gertjan Koster, Guus Rijnders, Monica Morales‐Masis*. “Single‐Source, Solvent‐Free, Room Temperature Deposition of Black γ‐CsSnI3 Films”. Advanced Materials Interfaces, 7, 11, 2000162 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1002/admi.202000162
  4. Yury Smirnov, Laura Schmengler, Riemer Kuik, Pierre-Alexis Repecaud, Mehrdad Najafi, Dong Zhang, Mirjam Theelen, Erkan Aydin, Sjoerd Veenstra, Stefaan De Wolf, Monica Morales-Masis*. “Scalable Pulsed Laser Deposition of Transparent Rear Electrode for Perovskite Solar Cells”. Advanced Materials Technologies, 6, 2, 2000856 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1002/admt.202000856
  5. Nathan Rodkey, Stan Kaal, Paz Sebastia-Luna, Yorick A. Birkhölzer, Martin Ledinsky, Francisco Palazon, Henk J. Bolink, and Monica Morales-Masis*. “Pulsed Laser Deposition of Cs2AgBiBr6: from Mechanochemically Synthesized Powders to Dry, Single-Step Deposition”.  Chemistry of Materials, 33, 18, 7417–7422 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.1c02054
  6. Tatiana Soto-Montero, Wiria Soltanpoor, Monica Morales-Masis*. “Pressing challenges of halide perovskite thin film growth”, APL materials, 8, 11 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0027573
  7. Esteban Rucavado, Federica Landucci, Max Döbeli, Quentin Jeangros, Mathieu Boccard, Aïcha Hessler-Wyser, Christophe Ballif, Monica Morales-Masis, “Zr-doped indium oxide electrodes: Annealing and thickness effects on microstructure and carrier transport”, Phys. Rev. Materials, 3 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.3.084608
  8. Andrea Ingenito, Gyzen Nogay, Quentin Jeangros, Esteban Rucavado, Christophe Allebé, S. Eswara, N. Valle, T. Wirtz, J. Horzel, Takashi Koida, Monica Morales-Masis, Mathieu Despeisse, F.-J. Haug, Philipp Löper and Christophe Ballif, “A passivating contact for silicon solar cells formed during a single firing thermal annealing”. Nature Energy, 3 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-018-0239-4
  9. Monica Morales-Masis*, Stefan De Wolf, Rachel Woods-Robinson, Joel W. Ager, Christophe Ballif. “Transparent Electrodes for Efficient Optoelectronics”. Advanced Electronic Materials, 3 (5) (2017). https://doi.org/10.1002/aelm.201600529
  10. Monica Morales-Masis, Fabien Dauzou, Quentin Jeangros, Ali Dabirian, Herbert Lifka, Rainald Gierth, Manfred Ruske, Date Moet, Aicha Hessler-Wyser, Christophe Ballif. “An Indium-Free Anode for Large-Area Flexible OLEDs: Defect-Free Transparent Conductive Zinc Tin Oxide”. Advanced Functional Materials, 26 (3) (2016). https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201503753

VI.   Media

Follow us on:
Twitter: @m3lab_ (link: https://twitter.com/m3lab_ )