The development of amorphous films with a wide transmission window and high refractive index is of growing significance due to the strong demand of integrating functional nanoparticles for the next-generation hybrid optoelectronic films. High-index TeO2-based glass films made via the sol-gel process are particularly suitable as their low temperature preparation process promises high compatibility with a large variety of nanoparticles and substrates that suffer from low thermal stability. However, due to the lack of in-depth understanding of the mechanisms of the formation of undesired metallic-Te (highly absorbing species) in the films, the preparation of high-transmission TeO2-based sol-gel films has been severely hampered. Here, by gaining insight into the mechanistic chemistry of metallic-Te formation at different stages during the non-hydrolytic sol-gel process, we identify the chemical route to prevent the generation of metallic-Te in a TeO2-based film. The as-prepared TeO2-based film exhibits a high transmission that is close to the theoretical limit. This opens up a new avenue for advancing the performance of hybrid optoelectronic films via incorporating a large variety of unique nanoparticles.
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- amorphous films
- high refractive index
- hybrid optoelectronic films