Transparent conducting oxide play a key role in photovoltaic (PV) devices. There has been much recent interest in finding alternative indium (In) free TCOs and even better performing alternative candidates to substitute for standard ITO. The driving factors are: scarcity, unintended interfacial phenomena, rapid price increase and global politics associated with In metal in ITO. TCOs based on titanium (Ti) doped tungsten oxide (WO3) thin films were studied in this project. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses provided the chemical and electronic structure changes in the Ti-doped WO3 thin films. The studies when combined with optical studies enabled engineering the materials with desired TCO properties.
Highly talented, skilled and motivated graduate & undergraduate students from underrepresented minorities were recruited in materials engineering and science. The students were provided hands-on experience with state-of-art materials manufacturing and analytical characterization methods both at UTEP and Materials Research aboratory at the University of California Santa Barbara. Students were encouraged to participate in meetings, conferences and workshops across the nation. In addition, opportunities and workshops were made available to all the students about higher education and career opportunities in materials science and engineering.