Research Project Full Title: Role of Dopant Concentration and Distribution in the Environmental Behavior of Indium Tin Oxide Nanoparticles
Principal Investigator(s): Navid Saleh, Mary Jo Kirisits, Delia Milliron, Lynn Katz
Researchers: James Grundy, Athreya Babu, Camila Saez, Christine Ngan
Sponsor(s): National Science Foundation
Indium tin oxide (ITO) is a semiconductor that is highly transparent to the visible light wavelengths, electrically conductive at room temperature, resistant to high temperatures, and easily deposited as a thin film. These properties of ITO have led to its wide use in applications requiring a transparent, conductive coating, including LCD and touch screens, window de-icing coatings, and smart windows. Changing the amount and location of tin within ITO nanoparticles and thin films significantly impacts the resulting optical and electrical characteristics. This study attempts to evaluate the role tin dopant level and location has an on the aqueous environmental behavior of ITO nanoparticles. ITO nanoparticles with varying amounts of tin, distributed both uniformly and surface-segregated within the crystal, will be evaluated for a number of important characteristics relating to environmental behavior. These include electronic band gap energetics and associated reactive oxygen species production, homo- and hetero-aggregation, particle deposition, transformation, dissolution, and microbial stress of ITO nanoparticles in aqueous matrices.