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.

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Combinatorial Depositions

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.

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Spatially Resolved Characterization

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.

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Automated Data Analysis

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.

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Targeted Depositions

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