Advanced nanoparticles synthesis by laser pyrolysis for energy production and storage

Reference Presenter Authors
06-177 Yann Leconte Leconte, Y.(Commissariat à l'énergie atomique); Urging demand for technologies aiming at fossil fuel replacement drives the development of innovative materials and motivates abundant research work. Advanced nanostructured materials appear as smart and efficient solutions to meet this challenge. In this context, novel processes able to synthesize advanced nanoparticles play a key role in the achievement of innovative devices for alternative energy production and storage. Here the development of laser pyrolysis process is reported in the fields of photovoltaics and electrochemical storage. Laser pyrolysis is a gas phase process enabling the synthesis of various nanoparticles using a laser for precursors thermal decomposition. In the case of silicon, particles as small as 3 nm can be obtained which exhibit quantum confinement with broadened bandgap. Such materials can be doped and deposited in situ, together with the co-deposition of a matrix using sputtering, in order to elaborate nanostructured or nanocomposite thin films. In this process, sources of particles and matrix are separated and independent, leading to a high versatility in terms of composites composition. The obtained Si bandgap engineered films were proven to show interesting electronic and optical properties for high efficiency solar cells application based on all-Si tandem cells. For energy storage, SnO2 or ZnFe2O4 nanopowders can be synthesized with various morphologies or doping elements. When applied as conversion materials for batteries, these particles show state of the art performances versus Li with very good cyclability. Si@C core-shell structures can also be prepared in a single step thanks to a double stage laser pyrolysis reactor, where Si cores are grown at the first stage before being covered by carbon at the second stage. Nature of the core particle can then be chosen independently of the coating nature. Obtained structures can be used as alloying materials electrodes in Li batteries, showing highly improved cyclability.
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