The Story of Indium Tin Oxide
Arabian researchers have developed a technology for making tunable transparent thin film transistors from a single hafnium zinc oxide (TFT HZO) composite by simply changing the ratio of metals in different layers.
Existing transparent electronics are based on indium tin oxide, a transparent and electrically conductive material, but extremely expensive due to In deficiency. A team of scientists from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology has been looking for more affordable alternatives. As a result, they were able to create a transparent zinc oxide material that exhibits customizable electronic properties depending on changes to a new type of dopant.
Thin film transistors typically contain electrode, dielectric, and channel layers that are deposited on a substrate of a variety of conductive, insulating, and semiconducting materials. They also require special equipment to form different layers. According to Arabian scientists, the electronic properties of TFT HZO can be adjusted from conductor to semiconductor to insulator with a high degree of control by simply changing the ratio of zinc oxide / hafnium dioxide precursors. This reduces production costs and lead times, which is critical for mass production..
In tests, hafnium-doped zinc oxide transistors have shown excellent electrical properties on glass and plastic, making them an excellent choice for high-resolution transparent and flexible displays. They also show high performance when incorporated into circuits such as inverters and ring generators, which speaks volumes for their viability and scalability..
At the moment, the team is creating complex circuits over large areas to demonstrate the full potential of their development..
A team of German scientists who also examines ways to improve transistors, recently found material that doubles the efficiency of silicon-based electronics.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: media.istockphoto, CC0 Public Domain