Modular slot-die coater for in situ grazing-incidence x-ray scattering experiments on thin films

Manuel A. Reus, Thomas Baier, Christoph G. Lindenmeir, Alexander F. Weinzierl, Altantulga Buyan-Arivjikh, Simon A. Wegener, David P. Kosbahn, Lennart K. Reb, Jan Rubeck, Matthias Schwartzkopf, Stephan V. Roth, Peter Müller-Buschbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multimodal in situ experiments during slot-die coating of thin films pioneer the way to kinetic studies on thin-film formation. They establish a powerful tool to understand and optimize the formation and properties of thin-film devices, e.g., solar cells, sensors, or LED films. Thin-film research benefits from time-resolved grazing-incidence wide- and small-angle x-ray scattering (GIWAXS/GISAXS) with a sub-second resolution to reveal the evolution of crystal structure, texture, and morphology during the deposition process. Simultaneously investigating optical properties by in situ photoluminescence measurements complements in-depth kinetic studies focusing on a comprehensive understanding of the triangular interdependency of processing, structure, and function for a roll-to-roll compatible, scalable thin-film deposition process. Here, we introduce a modular slot-die coater specially designed for in situ GIWAXS/GISAXS measurements and applicable to various ink systems. With a design for quick assembly, the slot-die coater permits the reproducible and comparable fabrication of thin films in the lab and at the synchrotron using the very same hardware components, as demonstrated in this work by experiments performed at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY). Simultaneous to GIWAXS/GISAXS, photoluminescence measurements probe optoelectronic properties in situ during thin-film formation. An environmental chamber allows to control the atmosphere inside the coater. Modular construction and lightweight design make the coater mobile, easy to transport, quickly extendable, and adaptable to new beamline environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043907
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2024


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