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The University of Southampton

Research project: Hector: Precursor chemistry for materials deposition

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Chemical vapour deposition is used to produce films and coatings of a very wide range of materials. The technique relies on the design and synthesis of precursor compounds to decompose cleanly to the desired product under the conditions used by a particular deposition process.

We are involved in a project to grow films of early transition metal selenides and tellurides with a view to producing materials for batteries, photovoltaic cells and gas sensors. Precursors to sulfides and selenides of Ti, Zr, Hf, V, Nb and Sn have been produced and used to grow films. This work is joint with Professors Levason and Reid and is collaborative with Professor I P Parkin and Dr C J Carmalt (UCL).

Deposition of metals and semiconductors inside pores of regular ordered nanostructured materials has the potential to produce many useful devices on a reduced scale. The methods currently used for such deposition cannot achieve the level of control that will ultimately be needed to realise this potential. We are part of a large consortium project funded under the RCUK Basic Technology programme to look at precursor chemistry, deposition methods, analysis of properties of the metal and semiconductor products and device fabrication. This project involves Physics, Chemistry, the Optoelectronic Research Centre and collaborators at the Universities of Manchester and Nottingham.

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