Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Clean Technology
Clean Technology
Zinc Oxide Nanowires for Photovoltaics and More
WARF: P130385US01

Inventors: 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.
Zinc 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 Invention
UW–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
Key Benefits
  • 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 Development
The researchers have grown nanowires and nanowire films from solution. Results indicate the nanowires are as good as those made via conventional methods.
Additional Information
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.
For current licensing status, please contact Michael Carey at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9867