Project TitleConducting and Transparent Graphene-Containing Thin Silica Films
Track Code2007-057
Short Description

Transparent, conductive composite silica thin films produced by a sol gel process incorporating exfoliated graphene.

#materials #graphene/graphite #electronic


Northwestern researchers have developed new glass technology that is electrically conducive and may be used in a range of applications including solar reflecting glass, self-cleaning windows, electrostatic charge-dissipating coatings, solar cells and sensor devices. Conductive glasses are typically prepared by metal oxide film coating using complex and expensive operations, such as magnetron sputtering or chemical vapor deposition. The investigators have identified a simple solution-based route to fabricate stable electrically conductive thin films. By incorporating graphene into a silica matrix, they create a conductive inorganic thin film on silicon substrates. Graphite oxide (GO), exfoliated in aqueous medium, is suspended in a silicon sol-gel, spin-coated on glass or hydrophilic SiOx/silicon substrates, chemically reduced and dried to a stable conductive and transparent thin film. With 11 wt% loading, the thin film exhibits ~20 nm thickness and ~12Å roughness after 400 °C curing and comparable conductivity to graphene loading. While the incorporation of graphene produces a slight reduction in transparency, it still maintains high transparency (~0.95) between 380-1000 nm wavelengths.

TagsMATERIALS: graphene/graphite, MATERIALS: electronic
Posted DateApr 19, 2011 2:37 PM


Rodney Ruoff
SonBinh Nguyen *¨
Sasha Stankovich
Dmitriy Dikin


Electrically conductive glass

  • Solar reflecting glass
  • Self-cleaning windows
  • Electrostatic charge-dissipating coatings
  • Solar cells
  • Sensor devices


  • Simple process
  • Conductive
  • Highly transparent
  • Robust thin films
  • Compatible with a variety of substrates


IP Status

Issued US Patent No. 8,574,681

Contact Information

Zach Brown, PhD
Invention Associate
(p) 847.491.4629