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Transparent Semiconductor Thin Film with Record Conductivity Discovered

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 11:38AM

You might not realize it, but a lot of the devices you rely on everyday probably include some amount of the material indium. This is because indium tin oxide (ITO) is a transparent conductor, making it ideal for use in flat-panel displays and solar cells, but indium is also rather rare, which is why so many have been looking for a viable replacement. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have recently discovered a transparent semiconductor that has the highest-ever conductivity of a thin film oxide semiconductor.

This new material is barium stannate (BaSnO3), a combination of barium, tin, and oxygen. It is a semiconductor with a wide band gap, which is important as this allows it to be transparent. The bandgap is the amount of energy it takes for an electron to enter the conduction band of a material, where it can move about freely. Typically semiconductors with wide bandgaps have low conductivity, but this is an exception, meaning the conducting film could be used in various electronic devices in the future. With barium and tin both being much cheaper than indium, there will certainly be a great interest in it.

The next step is to reduce the defects that form in the material, further improving its conductivity.

Source: University of Minnesota

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bishop245 on May 09, 2017 04:49
Nice that could potentially lead to lower prices on things us broke folks don't buy lol

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