Solution processed metal oxide thin films are important for modern optoelectronic devices ranging from thin film transistors to photovoltaics and for functional optical coatings. Solution processed techniques such as dip-coating, allow thin films to be rapidly deposited over a large range of surfaces including curved, flexible or plastic substrates without extensive processing of comparative vapour or physical deposition methods. To increase the effectiveness and versatility of dip-coated thin films, alterations to commonly used precursors can be made that facilitate controlled thin film deposition. The effects of polymer assisted deposition and changes in solvent-alkoxide dilution on the morphology, structure, optoelectronic properties and crystallinity of vanadium pentoxide thin films was studied using a dip-coating method using a substrate withdrawal speed within the fast-rate draining regime. The formation of sub-100 nm thin films could be achieved rapidly from dilute alkoxide based precursor solutions with high optical transmission in the visible, linked to the phase and film structure. The effects of the polymer addition was shown to change the crystallized vanadium pentoxide thin films from a granular surface structure to a polycrystalline structure composed of a high density of smaller in-plane grains, resulting in a uniform surface morphology with lower thickness and roughness.
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