Microreactor-Assisted Solution Deposition

Why is this technology needed?

Current vapor deposition manufacturing practices suffer from poor energy efficiency and large carbon footprints brought on by poor material utilization and high processing temperatures. Solution-phase chemical bath deposition approaches, while cheaper, provide less temporal control over film morphology and require higher solvent usage.

How does this technology address the need?

Microreactor-Assisted Solution Deposition (MASDTM) represents a new platform for solution-phase deposition of nano-structured films. In MASD, microreactor components (e.g. heat exchangers and mixers) are positioned upstream from the deposition head permitting the preparation of intermediate solution-phase chemistries that are unattainable by other methods (Figure 1). These chemistries permit cheap solution phase routes to nearly monocrystalline films and unique nanostructures (Figure 2). As solution-phase processes, these deposition routes can be less capital and energy intensive and more material efficient with higher throughputs and yields. We have demonstrated MASD of many high-quality solution-phase films at near ambient temperatures and pressures, reducing energy requirements by 80% over conventional CVD.

How is MBI contributing to the solution?

The Oregon Process Innovation Center (OPIC) is working with CH2M HILL to bring these technologies to market through jointly funded federal grants for reducing the cost and environmental impact of solar cell manufacturing.

OPIC is a unique facility within the MBI for developing benchtop chemistries and demonstrating pilot-scale chemical process development and in-process characterization. Capabilities include in-process diagnostics and pilot deposition. Nanofilm characterization is greatly facilitated by the Linus Pauling Science Center at OSU and NIST-quiet ONAMI facilities at the University of Oregon.


  • Chih-hung Chang, Director of OPIC
  • Brian K. Paul

For additional information . . .

To learn more about this technology, please contact Chih-hung Chang or Brian Paul.

Related literature:

P.H. Mugdur, Y.J. Chang,S.-Y. Han, Y.-W. Su, A.A. Morrone, S.O. Ryu, T.-J. Lee, C.-H. Chang, “A comparison of chemical bath deposition of CdS from a batch reactor and a continuous-flow microreactor,” J Electrochem Soc, 154(9):D482–D488, 2007.

Y.-J. Chang, C. Munsee, G. Herman, J. Wager, P. Mugdur, D.-H. Lee, C.-H. Chang, “Growth, characterization and application of CdS thin films deposited by chemical bath deposition,” Surface and interface analysis, 37(4): 68, 2005. 

S. Liu, C.-H. Chang, “High rate convergent synthesis and deposition of polyamide dendrimers using a continuous flow microreactor,” Chem Eng Technol 30(3):334–340, 2007. 

S.-Y. Han, Y.-J. Chang, D.-H. Lee, S.O. Ryu, T.-J. Lee, C.-H. Chang, “Chemical nanoparticle deposition of transparent ZnO thin films,” Electrochem Solid-State Lett 10(1):K1–K5, 2007. 

Y.J. Chang, P.H. Mugdur, S.-Y. Han, A.A. Morrone, S.O. Ryu, T.-J. Lee, C.-H. Chang, “Nanocrystalline CdS MISFETs fabricated by a novel continuous flow microreactor,” Electrochem Solid-State Lett 9(5):G174–G177, 2006. 

S. Kumazawa, T. Shibutani, T. Nishio, T. Aramoto, H. Higuchi, T. Arita, A. Hanafusa, K. Omura, M. Murozono, H. Takakura, “15.1% Highly efficient thin film CdS/CdTe solar cell,” Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 49:205-212, 1997.