Sustainable fabrication of indium oxide nano thin film by tuning wettability and rheological behavior of inkjet inks

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of printing science and technology/institute for color science and technology

2 Department of Printing Science and Technology, Institute for Color Science and Technology

3 Department of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University


Inkjet printing is an alternative, sustainable, cost-effective method for fabricating and depositing thin films. This research uses indium oxide nano-thin films as the transparent conducting electrode (TCE) fabricated by an eco-friendly inkjet printing method. Various indium acetate water-based inks as metal salt precursors were formulated in the first stage. Different co-solvents were used to adjust ink solutions' viscosity and surface tension to improve wettability and optimize the rheological conditions to avoid nozzle clogging of the printers' heads. Plasma pretreatment also increased the hydrophilicity and wettability of the glass substrate to achieve smooth and homogenous printed film. Finally, after enhancing the integrity of the printed film by improving adhesion and wettability, the optimum ink formulation is printed on the plasma treated glass and then subjected to the required thermal treatment process to obtain indium oxide nano-thin film. Complete characterization of the printed indium oxide thin film was carried out through different techniques, including Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE-SEM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), UV/Visible Spectrometry, Photoluminescence (PL) Spectrometry, and Raman Spectrometry towards finding the structures and optical properties of the printed thin film. The uniform and smooth nano-films of indium oxide are deposited on the glass substrate through an eco-friendly and sustainable method.