We demonstrate that laser peening coupled with sintering of CdTe nanowire films substantially enhances film quality and charge transfer while largely maintaining basic particle morphology. During the laser peening phase, a shockwave is used to compress the film. Laser sintering comprises the second step, where a nanosecond pulse laser beam welds the nanowires. Microstructure, morphology, material content, and electrical conductivities of the films are characterized before and after treatment. The morphology results show that laser peening can decrease porosity and bring nanowires into contact, and pulsed laser heating fuses those contacts. Multiphysics simulations coupling electromagnetic and heat transfer modules demonstrate that during pulsed laser heating, local EM field enhancement is generated specifically around the contact areas between two semiconductor nanowires, indicating localized heating. The characterization results indicate that solely laser peening or sintering can only moderately improve the thin film quality; however, when coupled together as laser peen sintering (LPS), the electrical conductivity enhancement is dramatic. LPS can decrease resistivity up to a factor of ∼10,000, resulting in values on the order of ∼10 5 ω-cm in some cases, which is comparable to CdTe thin films. Our work demonstrates that LPS is an effective processing method to obtain high-quality semiconductor nanocrystal films.
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