LBNL Report Number
Niobium pentoxide films, fabricated by the sol-gel process, were spin coated onto conductive indium tin oxide (ITO)/glass, and microscope slides. These films were cycled in a 1M LiClO4 propylene carbonate (PC) solution, and exhibited electrochromic behavior upon the electrochemical insertion (reduction) and extraction (oxidation) of lithium. In-situ optical transmittance measurements were investigated in the ultraviolet/visible/near-infrared wavelength regions (250-2100 nm). Niobium pentoxide films showed reversible optical switching from 320 to 870 nm, but were found electrochromically inactive in the infrared region. Surface analysis using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) indicated little difference in the chemistry of Nb2O5 films as deposited and lithiated LixNb2O5 films, as XPS binding energies of Nb and O showed no appreciable shifts. These films were found to be amorphous by X-ray diffraction. Optical transmittance measurements combined with cyclic voltamograms and XPS spectra, revealed that the electrochromic behavior of these films occurs due to the insertion of Li+ cations into niobium pentoxide films. The bronze coloration of the niobium pentoxide films could make them useful as an electrochromic counter electrodesfor electrochromic devices.