WARF: P130385US01

Zinc Oxide Nanowires for Photovoltaics and More


Xudong Wang, Fei Wang, Alexander Kvit

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a simple, solution-based process for synthesizing doped zinc oxide nanowires on a wide variety of substrates.
OVERVIEWZinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires are of tremendous commercial interest because they could help drive the next big advancements in solar cells, flat panel displays and other transparent conductor applications. Zinc oxide has excellent physical properties and costs less than other materials.

However, fabricating the kind of high quality, doped ZnO nanowires desired in industry has proven a challenge. The process required unsuitable electrochemical methods, until now.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a process for synthesizing chloride- or fluoride-doped ZnO nanowires. The process involves growing nanowires from seed crystals in an aqueous solution. They can be grown on a wide variety of substrates including non-electrically conductive substrates, flexible plastic substrates and fibrous substrates.
  • Fabricating doped ZnO nanowires and nanowire film
  • Well suited for use in photovoltaic devices, photodetectors, LEDs and piezoelectric nanogenerators
  • Excellent metallic conductivity, optical transparency and low resistivity
  • Process is simple and mild.
  • Compatible with a wide variety of substrates
  • Cost effective
  • Does not rely on electrochemical methods
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTThe researchers have grown nanowires and nanowire films from solution. Results indicate the nanowires are as good as those made via conventional methods.
For More Information About the Inventors
  • Wang F., Seo J.-H., Li Z., Kvit A.V., Ma Z. and Wang X. 2014. Cl-Doped ZnO Nanowires with Metallic Conductivity and Their Application for High-Performance Photoelectrochemical Electrodes. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. 6, 1288–1293.
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or 608-960-9842.
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