Electrochromic Performance of Nanocomposite Nickel Oxide Counter Electrodes Containing Lithium and Zirconium

Chaiwat Engtrakul, Feng Lin, Manuel Montano, Chixia Tian, Yazhou Ji, Dennis Nordlund, Tsu-Chien Weng, Rob Moore, Dane Gillaspie, Kim Jones, Anne Dillon, Ryan Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus Citations


Nickel oxide materials are suitable for counter electrodes in complementary electrochromic devices. The state-of-the-art nickel oxide counter electrode materials are typically prepared with multiple additives to enhance peformance. Herein, nanocomposite nickel oxide counter electrodes were fabricated via RF magnetron co-sputtering from Ni-Zr alloy and Li2O ceramic targets. The as-deposited nanocomposite counter electrodes were characterized with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). It was found that the stoichiometry, crystal structure and electronic structure of the nickel oxide-based materials could be readily tuned by varying the Li2O sputter deposition power level. Comprehensive electrochromic evaluation demonstrated that the performance of the nickel oxide-based materials was dependent on the overall Li stoichiometry. Overall, the nanocomposite nickel oxide counter electrode containing lithium and zirconium synthesized with a Li2O deposition power of 45 W exhibited the optimal performance with an optical modulation of 71% and coloration efficiency of 30 cm2/C at 670 nm in Li-ion electrolyte.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
JournalSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells
StatePublished - 2014

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-70123


  • Electrochromic
  • Li stoichiometry
  • Nanocomposite
  • Nickel oxide
  • Oxidation state


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