Method of Enhancing Electrical Conduction in Gallium-Doped Zinc Oxide Films

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2017-CHEN-67676
Transparent conducting oxide (TCO) films, which can achieve both electrical conduction and optical transparency, are critical in many large consumer optoelectronic devices such as flat panel displays, photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes, and electrochromic windows. Until recently, over 90 percent of the TCO market used indium tin oxide (ITO); however, due to indium's toxicity, scarcity, and escalating cost, there is an urgent need to identify alternative TCO films.

Zinc oxides (ZnO) have received attention over the last three decades as a promising substitute for ITO because it is non-toxic, abundant, and inexpensive. Unfortunately, ZnO has high resistivity and unstable electrical properties.

Currently, gallium (GA) doped ZnO (GZO) is under research and development to replace ITO as a transparent conductive coating. Physical vapor deposition is used to manufacture a GZO film with high electron conductivity. In addition, low temperature PVD was used for depositing GZO, but poor optoelectronic properties were obtained. There continues to be an unmet need for improving the electrical conductivity of GZO films so they can compete with ITO films in terms of conductivity.

Purdue University researchers have developed a method of manufacturing GZO films with better structural and optoelectronic properties. This method achieved low resistance and high transmittance, making it attractive for large-scale manufacturing. There are potential applications with other metal oxides and other deposition methods, such as sol-gel, printing, and spray coating.

Advantages:
-High conductivity and transmittance
-Large-scale manufacturing

Potential Applications:
-Flat panel display
-Photovoltaic cells
-Light emitting diodes
-Sol-gel
-Printing
-Spray coating
Jul 12, 2018
Utility Patent
United States
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Jul 13, 2017
Provisional-Patent
United States
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