The main objective of this project is the development of novel transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) with enhanced electrical properties and tuned transparency from UV to mid-IR. The innovative aspect of the project methodology is the strong correlation and interaction between theoretical first principle modelling and experimental studies. Three demonstrators have been selected to show the potential applications of the TCOs, which will be developed in this project, thus opening the way and giving the possibilities for Europe to lead in the new and emerging TCO-based technologies. TCOs show the unique combination of properties: co-existence of optical transparency in the visible region and controllability of electronic conduction from insulator to metal. Transparent conductive oxides continue to be in high demand because of the immediate applications they can find in a variety of new technologies, ranging from thin film coatings and sensor devices, to light detecting and emitting devices in telecommunications. However, the current industry standard, tin doped In2O3 (Indium Tin Oxide or ITO) suffers from the high raw material cost of indium. In addition, the non-optimal conductivity and transparency, and the chemical instability of ITO in some device structures, have limited its potential applications. Moreover, almost all TCOs used nowadays are n-type. The p-type TCOs reported to date have conductivities at least an order of magnitude lower than their n-type counterparts. If p-type materials with high conductivities and controlled transparencies could be manufactured industrially, a variety of new applications would open up, including transparent electronics and opto-electronics, organic light emitting diodes, integrated electro-optical (waveguide) sensors and functional windows. The aforementioned limitations of n-type TCOs and the lack of p-type TCOs with optimum transparent and conductive properties have been the motivation and the driving force for this project.
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
71110 Heraklion, Crete
38402 St Martin D'heres