MMaterialsgateNEWS 2017/11/29

Discovery points the way to better and cheaper transparent conductors

Researchers at the University of Liverpool have made a discovery that could improve the conductivity of a type of glass coating which is used on items such as touch screens, solar cells and energy efficient windows.

Coatings are applied to the glass of these items to make them electrically conductive whilst also allowing light through. Fluorine doped tin dioxide is one of the materials used in commercial low cost glass coatings as it is able to simultaneously allow light through and conduct electrical charge but it turns out that tin dioxide has as yet untapped potential for improved performance.

In a paper published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials, physicists identify the factor that has been limiting the conductivity of fluorine doped tin dioxide, which should be highly conductive because fluorine atoms substituted on oxygen lattice sites are each expected to give an additional free electron for conduction.

The scientists report, using a combination of experimental and theoretical data, that for every two fluorine atoms that give an additional free electron, another one occupies a normally unoccupied lattice position in the tin dioxide crystal structure.

Each so-called “interstitial” fluorine atom captures one of the free electrons and thereby becomes negatively charged. This reduces the electron density by half and also results in increased scattering of the remaining free electrons. These combine to limit the conductivity of fluorine doped tin dioxide compared with what would otherwise be possible.

PhD student Jack Swallow, from the University’s Department of Physics and the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, said: “Identifying the factor that has been limiting the conductivity of fluorine doped tin dioxide is an important discovery and could lead to coatings with improved transparency and up to five times higher conductivity, reducing cost and enhancing performance in a myriad of applications from touch screens, LEDs, photovoltaic cells and energy efficient windows.”

The researchers now intend to address the challenge of finding alternative novel dopants that avoid these inherent drawbacks.

The research involved physicists from the University and the Surrey Ion Beam Centre in collaboration with computational chemists at University College London and global glass manufacturer, NSG Group and is funded by an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council grant and the EPSRC’s Centre for Doctoral Training in New and Sustainable Photovoltaics.

Source: University of Liverpool – 27.11.2017.

The paper `Self-compensation in transparent conducting F doped SnO2’’ is published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials (DOI:10.1002/adfm.201701900).

Investigated and edited by:

Dr.-Ing. Christoph Konetschny, Inhaber und Gründer von Materialsgate
Büro für Material- und Technologieberatung
The investigation and editing of this document was performed with best care and attention.
For the accuracy, validity, availability and applicability of the given information, we take no liability.
Please discuss the suitability concerning your specific application with the experts of the named company or organization.

You want additional material or technology investigations concerning this subject?

Materialsgate is leading in material consulting and material investigation.
Feel free to use our established consulting services

MMore on this topic

See-through solar materials that can be applied to windows represent a massive source of untapped energy and could harvest as much power as bigger, bulkier rooftop solar units, scientists report today in Nature Energy.

Led by engineering researchers at Michigan State University, the authors argue that widespread use of such highly transparent solar applications, together with the rooftop units, could nearly meet U.S. electricity demand and drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels. “Highly transparent solar cells represent the wave of the future for new solar applications,” said Richard Lunt, the Johansen Crosby Endowed Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at MSU. “We analyzed their potential and show that by harvesting only invisible light, these devices can provide a similar electricity-generation potential as rooftop solar while providing additional functionality... more read more

In 2014, when University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers announced in the journal Nature Communications that they had developed transparent sensors for use in imaging the brain, researchers around the world took notice.

Then the requests came flooding in. "So many research groups started asking us for these devices that we couldn't keep up," says Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma, the Lynn H. Matthias Professor and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in electrical and computer engineering at UW-Madison. Ma's group is a world leader in developing revolutionary flexible electronic devices. The see-through, implantable micro-electrode arrays were light years beyond anything ever created. Although he and collaborator Justin Williams, the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in biomedical engineering and neurological surgery at UW-Madison, patented the technology through the Wisconsin Alumni... more read more

With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) era, strong demand has grown for wearable and transparent displays that can be applied to various fields such as augmented reality (AR) and skin-like thin flexible devices.

However, previous flexible transparent displays have posed real challenges to overcome, which are, among others, poor transparency and low electrical performance. To improve the transparency and performance, past research efforts have tried to use inorganic-based electronics, but the fundamental thermal instabilities of plastic substrates have hampered the high temperature process, an essential step necessary for the fabrication of high performance electronic devices. As a solution to this problem, a research team led by Professors Keon Jae Lee and Sang-Hee Ko Park of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has... more read more

MaterialsgateNEWSLETTER

Partner of the Week

Search in MaterialsgateNEWS

Books and products

MaterialsgateFAIR:
LET YOURSELF BE INSPIRED