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Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Aug 1;101(5):055502. Epub 2008 Jul 31.

Sources of electrical conductivity in SnO2.

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  • 1Materials Department, University of California-Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.


SnO2 is widely used as a transparent conductor and sensor material. Better understanding and control of its conductivity would enhance its performance in existing applications and enable new ones, such as in light emitters. Using density functional theory, we show that the conventional attribution of n-type conductivity to intrinsic point defects is incorrect. Unintentional incorporation of hydrogen provides a consistent explanation of experimental observations. Most importantly, we find that SnO2 offers excellent prospects for p-type doping by incorporation of acceptors on the Sn site. Specific strategies for optimizing acceptor incorporation are presented.

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