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Special Issue "Advances in Transparent Conducting Oxides"

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A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Robert Bruce Van Dover (Website)

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, 227 Bard Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-1501, USA
Phone: +1 607 255 3228
Fax: +1 607 255 2365
Interests: high-throughput experimentation; thin films; complex oxides; fuel cell catalysts, support materials, and solid electrolytes; dielectrics; magnetic materials; magnetic devices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) play an essential role in technologies ranging from low emissivity windows to photovoltaic energy systems to a wide variety of electronic display technologies. A tremendous range of oxides are transparent, but engineering these to also exhibit useful electronic conductivity is rarely straightforward. Developing materials that meet all of the performance characteristics demanded by a given application is profoundly challenging, and is the focus of worldwide research. Tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) sets the standard for many performance metrics, but has the drawback of high expense associated with indium. Alternatives such as Al-doped tin oxide and indium-doped cadmium oxide have been widely investigated but have not replaced ITO in most applications. Many other multication oxides have been investigated, along with transparent conducting polymers and related systems.

Desirable characteristics include

  • low thermal budget (synthesis and processing require T < 100 ºC)
  • high mobility
  • high conductivity
  • low cost
  • chemical compatibility with other functional layers
  • high transmittance over targeted wavelength range
  • mechanical stability and flexibility

New and improved materials are needed because existing materials are not anticipated to meet the performance, cost, and availability demands of emerging consumer technologies. In this special issue we aim to cover recent progress in achieving high performance in transparent conductors as well as in understanding the mechanisms and issues that limit performance, along with new approaches to developing transparent conductors  including rational design and incorporation of novel materials.

Prof. Dr. Robert Bruce van Dover
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • oxides
  • transparent conductors
  • LCD display
  • low emissivity
  • transparent electronics
  • oxide transistors
  • amorphous oxide conductors
  • transparent conducting film
  • transparent electrode

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Effect of the Milling Time of the Precursors on the Physical Properties of Sprayed Aluminum-Doped Zinc Oxide (ZnO:Al) Thin Films
Materials 2012, 5(8), 1404-1412; doi:10.3390/ma5081404
Received: 21 March 2012 / Revised: 29 June 2012 / Accepted: 24 July 2012 / Published: 16 August 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (483 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aluminum doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al) thin films were deposited on soda-lime glass substrates by the chemical spray technique. The atomization of the solution was carried out by ultrasonic excitation. Six different starting solutions from both unmilled and milled Zn and Al precursors, [...] Read more.
Aluminum doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al) thin films were deposited on soda-lime glass substrates by the chemical spray technique. The atomization of the solution was carried out by ultrasonic excitation. Six different starting solutions from both unmilled and milled Zn and Al precursors, dissolved in a mix of methanol and acetic acid, were prepared. The milling process was carried out using a planetary ball mill at a speed of 300 rpm, and different milling times, namely, 15, 25, 35, 45, and 60 min. Molar concentration, [Al]/[Zn] atomic ratio, deposition temperature and time, were kept at constant values; 0.2 M, 3 at.%, 475 °C, and 10 min, respectively. Results show that, under the same deposition conditions, electrical resistivities of ZnO:Al thin films deposited from milled precursors are lower than those obtained for films deposited from unmilled precursors. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed that all films display a polycrystalline structure, fitting well with the hexagonal wurtzite structure. Changes in surface morphology were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as well, since films deposited from unmilled precursors show triangular shaped grains, in contrast to films deposited from 15 and 35 min milled precursors that display thin slices with hexagonal shapes. The use of milled precursors to prepare starting solutions for depositing ZnO:Al thin films by ultrasonic pyrolysis influences their physical properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Transparent Conducting Oxides)
Open AccessArticle Transparent Conducting Oxides—An Up-To-Date Overview
Materials 2012, 5(4), 661-683; doi:10.3390/ma5040661
Received: 20 January 2012 / Revised: 9 March 2012 / Accepted: 28 March 2012 / Published: 19 April 2012
Cited by 64 | PDF Full-text (196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) are electrical conductive materials with comparably low absorption of electromagnetic waves within the visible region of the spectrum. They are usually prepared with thin film technologies and used in opto-electrical apparatus such as solar cells, displays, opto-electrical interfaces [...] Read more.
Transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) are electrical conductive materials with comparably low absorption of electromagnetic waves within the visible region of the spectrum. They are usually prepared with thin film technologies and used in opto-electrical apparatus such as solar cells, displays, opto-electrical interfaces and circuitries. Here, based on a modern database-system, aspects of up-to-date material selections and applications for transparent conducting oxides are sketched, and references for detailed information are given. As n-type TCOs are of special importance for thin film solar cell production, indium-tin oxide (ITO) and the reasonably priced aluminum-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al), are discussed with view on preparation, characterization and special occurrences. For completion, the recently frequently mentioned typical p-type delafossite TCOs are described as well, providing a variety of references, as a detailed discussion is not reasonable within an overview publication. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Transparent Conducting Oxides)
Open AccessArticle Formation of Indium-Doped Zinc Oxide Thin Films Using Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis: The Importance of the Water Content in the Aerosol Solution and the Substrate Temperature for Enhancing Electrical Transport
Materials 2012, 5(3), 432-442; doi:10.3390/ma5030432
Received: 5 January 2012 / Revised: 10 February 2012 / Accepted: 29 February 2012 / Published: 12 March 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (435 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Indium doped zinc oxide [ZnO:In] thin films have been deposited at 430°C on soda-lime glass substrates by the chemical spray technique, starting from zinc acetate and indium acetate. Pulverization of the solution was done by ultrasonic excitation. The variations in the electrical, [...] Read more.
Indium doped zinc oxide [ZnO:In] thin films have been deposited at 430°C on soda-lime glass substrates by the chemical spray technique, starting from zinc acetate and indium acetate. Pulverization of the solution was done by ultrasonic excitation. The variations in the electrical, structural, optical, and morphological characteristics of ZnO:In thin films, as a function of both the water content in the starting solution and the substrate temperature, were studied. The electrical resistivity of ZnO:In thin films is not significantly affected with the increase in the water content, up to 200 mL/L; further increase in water content causes an increase in the resistivity of the films. All films show a polycrystalline character, fitting well with the hexagonal ZnO wurtzite-type structure. No preferential growth in samples deposited with the lowest water content was observed, whereas an increase in water content gave rise to a (002) growth. The surface morphology of the films shows a consistency with structure results, as non-geometrical shaped round grains were observed in the case of films deposited with the lowest water content, whereas hexagonal slices, with a wide size distribution were observed in the other cases. In addition, films deposited with the highest water content show a narrow size distribution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Transparent Conducting Oxides)

Review

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Open AccessReview Investigating the Defect Structures in Transparent Conducting Oxides Using X-ray and Neutron Scattering Techniques
Materials 2012, 5(5), 818-850; doi:10.3390/ma5050818
Received: 31 March 2012 / Accepted: 4 May 2012 / Published: 11 May 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (555 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Transparent conducting oxide (TCO) materials are implemented into a wide variety of commercial devices because they possess a unique combination of high optical transparency and high electrical conductivity. Created during the processing of the TCOs, defects within the atomic-scale structure are responsible [...] Read more.
Transparent conducting oxide (TCO) materials are implemented into a wide variety of commercial devices because they possess a unique combination of high optical transparency and high electrical conductivity. Created during the processing of the TCOs, defects within the atomic-scale structure are responsible for their desirable optical and electrical properties. Therefore, studying the defect structure is essential to a better understanding of the behavior of transparent conductors. X-ray and neutron scattering techniques are powerful tools to investigate the atomic lattice structural defects in these materials. This review paper presents some of the current developments in the study of structural defects in n-type TCOs using x-ray diffraction (XRD), neutron diffraction, extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS), pair distribution functions (PDFs), and x-ray fluorescence (XRF). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Transparent Conducting Oxides)

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