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Transparent Conducting Oxides

A transparent conductive film is a material that is highly transparent in the range of visible light, and at the same time, electrically conductive. The interest in these transparent conductors can be traced back to the early 20th century when reports of CdO films first appeared. Since then there has been a steadily growing interest in these materials with their unique properties. For most optoelectronic devices such as flat panel displays, it is essential to use a transparent electrode consisting of a thin film of a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) semiconductor. Tin-doped indium oxide (commonly called indium tin-oxide, or ITO) thin films deposited by magnetron sputtering (MSP) have been in practical use for most transparent electrode applications. However, the conductivity of this material is marginal for many applications,the transparency window is too narrow in the blue-green region, the work function is inadequate for many applications, the material is too chemically reactive, and the cost of indium is currently very high. Recent developments in optoelectronic devices have frequently required thin-film transparent electrodes with specialized properties.