Materials Synthesis and Characterization
For high-quality materials synthesis and characterization, NREL uses a high-throughput experimental approach based on combinatorial deposition, spatially resolved characterization, and automated data analysis capabilities, followed by targeted experiments.
We have several physical vapor deposition chambers, and for each we can create intentional, well-controlled gradients in chemical composition, substrate temperature, film thickness, and other synthesis parameters across the substrate, resulting in a material library.
Each of our measurement instruments has an automatically controlled X-Y motion stage that enables mapping of the materials libraries as a function of position, and hence, composition / temperature, and other gradients that the material libraries have.
Enormous amounts of data are created by combinatorial synthesis and spatially resolved characterization of the material libraries. So, we have developed both local and network-based analysis capabilities to turn these data into knowledge.
Once a few candidate materials are identified using combinatorial synthesis, spatially resolved characterization, and automated data analysis, the most promising candidates are studied using more conventional targeted experimental approach