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J Phys Condens Matter. 2011 Aug 24;23(33):334210. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/23/33/334210. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

Multi-component transparent conducting oxides: progress in materials modelling.

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  • 1Kathleen Lonsdale Materials Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University College London, 20 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AJ, UK.


Transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) play an essential role in modern optoelectronic devices through their combination of electrical conductivity and optical transparency. We review recent progress in our understanding of multi-component TCOs formed from solid solutions of ZnO, In(2)O(3), Ga(2)O(3) and Al(2)O(3), with a particular emphasis on the contributions of materials modelling, primarily based on density functional theory. In particular, we highlight three major results from our work: (i) the fundamental principles governing the crystal structures of multi-component oxide structures including (In(2)O(3))(ZnO)(n) and (In(2)O(3))(m)(Ga(2)O(3))(l)(ZnO)(n); (ii) the relationship between elemental composition and optical and electrical behaviour, including valence band alignments; (iii) the high performance of amorphous oxide semiconductors. On the basis of these advances, the challenge of the rational design of novel electroceramic materials is discussed.

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