Energy – Science of materials and thermally controlled glazing

Members: Rémi Lazzari, Gregory Cabailh, Jacques Jupille, Stéphane Chenot, Fabio Finocchi

Collaborations: CNRS/St-Gobain joint laboratory (SVI), St-Gobain Recherche-Aubervilliers and NTNU-Norway

In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, tomorrow’s housing must be as energy efficient as possible, or even neutral. This objective requires the development of innovative materials that pose material science challenges at all levels. While double glazing reduces heat transport by conduction/convection, the control of radiative transfer is ensured by coatings deposited under vacuum by sputtering. Infrared reflection is thus ensured by thin metallic silver films whose nanometric thickness allows transparency in the visible range. However, as silver has a low chemical affinity with dielectric substrates, the metastable thin film morphology is subject to dewetting detrimental to the coloration of the glass. This is all the more true if the latter is to be subjected to heat treatments such as bending (automotive application) or tempering. Thus, the metal film is stabilized by encapsulation in extremely complex stacks where each layer plays a very specific role. Silver is epitaxial on textured ZnO layers. Transition metal buffer layers are also added to improve wetting and limit the diffusion of the species. The game is then to obtain from an amorphous glass substrate, the best crystallized layer possible, thus the least resistive and the most reflective for the infra-red.

Figure 1: a) Thermal camera image of a poorly insulated house. The windows represent thermal leakage. B) Diagram of a glazing reinforced by silver coatings.

Thus, the team “Oxides in Low Dimensions” of the INSP develops since many years, in collaboration with the joint laboratory CNRS/St-Gobain and St-Gobain Research, a fundamental reflection on the questions of science of materials raised by this industrial context. These questions follow multiple directions which are intertwined:

  • Control and role of polarity in ZnO films on epitaxy and band alignment Ag/ZnO(0001) [T1,T5,7,10]
  • CInterface chemistry of transition metals on ZnO [T1,5,7] ;
  • Respective contribution of interfaces and grain boundaries in electrical resistivity [T3]
  • Mechanism of dewetting of metallic films [T2,3,4,6,9]
  • Plasmonics of nanostructures [T1T4,1,4,9]
  • Stresses in thin films [T3,2]
  • In situ understanding of sputtering growth mechanisms [T3,1,6]

The questions are addressed on model systems with the most relevant techniques for the question asked, either at INSP, SVI, or at the synchrotron radiation (EXAFS, HAXPES).


[T1] 2013-2017 : Ekaterina Chernysheva, CIFRE thesis, Zinc oxide growth and its interfaces with metals observed by photoemisssion
[T2] 2013-2016 : Paul Jacquet, CIFRE thesis, Towards the understanding and control of dewetting of silver layers
Caseau Thesis Prize 2018 of the French Academy of Technology
[T3] 2016-2019 : Quentin Hérault, CIFRE thesis, Towards the understanding of the growth of silver thin films by sputtering in the light of operando measurements
[T4] 2017-2020 : Sunniva Indrehus, ANR FRAXOS thesis, Plasmonics response of thin filmst
[T5] 2019-2022 : Francesca Corbella, CIFRE Thesis, In-plane texturing of silver layers


[1] Sergey Grachev, Marco De Grazia, Etienne Barthel, Elin Søndergård, Rémi Lazzari.Real-time monitoring of nanoparticle film growth at high deposition rate with optical spectroscopy of plasmon resonances. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, IOP Publishing, 2013, 46 (37), pp.375305. ⟨10.1088/0022-3727/46/37/375305⟩
[2] Rémi Lazzari, Jacek Goniakowski, Gregory Cabailh, Rémi Cavallotti, Nicolas Trcera, et al.. Surface and Epitaxial Stresses on Supported Metal Clusters. Nano Letters, American Chemical Society, 2016, 16 (4), pp.2574 – 2579. ⟨10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b00143⟩. ⟨hal-01442816⟩
[3] P Jacquet, Renaud Podor, J Ravaux, J Teisseire, I Gozhyk, et al.. Grain growth: The key to understand solid-state dewetting of silver thin films. Scripta Materialia, Elsevier, 2016, pp.128-132. ⟨10.1016/j.scriptamat.2016.01.005⟩. ⟨hal-01274691⟩
[4] P. Jacquet, M. Kildemo, J. Teisseire, I. Gozhyk, J. Jupille, et al.. Monitoring silver solid-state dewetting with in situ ellipsometry. Applied Surface Science, Elsevier, 2016, 421 (Part B), pp.553-556. ⟨10.1016/j.apsusc.2016.10.160⟩. ⟨hal-01401507⟩
[5] Patrizia Borghetti, Younes Mouchaal, Zongbei Dai, Gregory Cabailh, Stéphane Chenot, et al.. Orientation-dependent chemistry and band-bending of Ti on polar ZnO surfaces. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2017, 19 (16), pp.10350-10357. ⟨10.1039/C6CP08595D⟩. ⟨hal-01510493⟩
[6] P. Jacquet, Renaud Podor, J. Ravaux, J. Lautru, J. Teisseire, et al.. On the solid-state dewetting of polycrystalline thin films: Capillary versus grain growth approach. Acta Materialia, Elsevier, 2018, 143, pp.281-290. ⟨10.1016/j.actamat.2017.08.070⟩. ⟨hal-01996081⟩
[7] Ekaterina Chernysheva, Waked Srour, Bertrand Philippe, Bulent Baris, Stéphane Chenot, et al.. Band alignment at Ag/ZnO(0001) interfaces: A combined soft and hard x-ray photoemission study. Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics (1998-2015), American Physical Society, 2018, 97 (23), pp.235430. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevB.97.235430⟩. ⟨hal-01839974⟩
[8] Iryna Gozhyk, Letian Dai, Quentin Hérault, Rémi Lazzari, Sergey Grachev. Plasma emission correction in reflectivity spectroscopy during sputtering deposition. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, IOP Publishing, 2019, 52 (9), pp.095202. ⟨10.1088/1361-6463/aaf494⟩. ⟨hal-01981672⟩
[9] Paul Jacquet, Barbara Bouteille, Romain Dezert, Joseph Lautru, Renaud Podor, et al.. Periodic Arrays of Diamond‐Shaped Silver Nanoparticles: From Scalable Fabrication by Template‐Assisted Solid‐State Dewetting to Tunable Optical Properties. Advanced Functional Materials, Wiley, 2019, pp.1901119. ⟨10.1002/adfm.201901119⟩. ⟨hal-02159208⟩
[10] Stefania Benedetti, Ilaria Valenti, Sergio Valeri, Sebastián Castilla, Edouard Touzé, Yael Bronstein, Alexandra Toumar, Fabio Finocchi, and Rémi Lazzari. Polar-step driven metal nucleation and growth : the Ag/ZnO(10-10) case. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2020 124 (11), 6130-6140 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b11464