MRS Bulletin

Progress and future directions for atomic layer deposition and ALD-based chemistry

Progress and future directions for atomic layer deposition and ALD-based chemistry

ALD for clean energy conversion, utilization, and storage

Jeffrey W. Elama1, Neil P. Dasguptaa2 and Fritz B. Prinza3

a1 Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439, USA; jelam@anl.gov

a2 Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; dasgupta@stanford.edu

a3 Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305; fbp@cdr.stanford.edu

Abstract

Atomic layer deposition (ALD) uses self-limiting chemical reactions between gaseous precursors and a solid surface to deposit materials in a layer-by-layer fashion. This process results in a unique combination of attributes, including sub-nm precision, the capability to engineer surfaces and interfaces, and unparalleled conformality over high-aspect ratio and nanoporous structures. Given these capabilities, ALD could play a central role in achieving the technological advances necessary to redirect our economy from fossil-based energy to clean, renewable energy. This article will survey some of the recent work applying ALD to clean energy conversion, utilization, and storage, including research in solid oxide fuel cells, thin-film photovoltaics, lithium-ion batteries, and heterogenous catalysts. Throughout the manuscript, we will emphasize how the unique qualities of ALD can enhance device performance and enable radical new designs.

(Online publication November 18 2011)

Key Words:

  • Atomic layer deposition;
  • nanoscale;
  • energy storage;
  • energy generation;
  • infiltration
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