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Title: Transformation, reaction and organization of functional nanostructures using solution-based microreactor-assisted nanomaterial deposition for solar photovoltaics

Microreactor-Assisted Nanomaterial Deposition (MAND) process offers unique capabilities in achieving large size and shape control levels while providing a more rapid path for scaling via process intensification for nanomaterial production. This review highlights the application of continuous flow microreactors to synthesize, assemble, transform, and deposit nanostructured materials for Solar Photovoltaics, the capabilities of MAND in the field, and the potential outlook of MAND.

Microreactor-Assisted Nanomaterial Deposition (MAND) is a promising technology that synthesizes reactive fluxes and nanomaterials to deposit nanostructured materials at the point of use. MAND offers precise control over reaction, organization, and transformation processes to manufacture nanostructured materials with distinct morphologies, structures, and properties. In synthesis, microreactor technology offers large surface-area-to-volume ratios within microchannel structures to accelerate heat and mass transport. This accelerated transport allows for rapid changes in reaction temperatures and concentrations, leading to more uniform heating and mixing in the deposition process. The possibility of synthesizing nanomaterials in the required volumes at the point of application eliminates the need to store and transport potentially hazardous materials. Further, MAND provides new opportunities for tailoring novel nanostructures and nano-shaped features, opening the opportunity to assemble unique nanostructures and nanostructured thin films. MAND processes control the heat transfer, mass transfer, and reaction kinetics using well-defined microstructures of the active unit reactor cell that can be replicated at larger scales to produce higher chemical production volumes. This critical feature opens a promising avenue in developing scalable nanomanufacturing. This paper reviews advances in microreactor-assisted nanomaterial deposition of nanostructured materials for solar photovoltaics. The discussions review the use of microreactors to tailor the reacting flux, transporting to substrate surfaces via controlling process parameters such as flow rates, pH of the precursor solutions, and seed layers on the formation and/or transformation of intermediary reactive molecules, nanoclusters, nanoparticles, and structured assemblies. In the end, the review discusses the use of an industrial scale MAND to apply anti-reflective and anti-soiling coatings on the solar modules in the field and details future outlooks of MAND reactors.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
MRS Energy & Sustainability
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 407-442
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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