Tutorial 3 (SVC C-332): Zinc Oxide-Based and Other TCO Alternatives to ITO: Materials, Deposition, Properties and Applications

This tutorial is part of the Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC) Education Program and will take place in cooperation with EFDS.

The tutorial will be presented by Clark Bright, Senior Staff Scientist & Group Technical Leader, 3M Corporation .

This tutorial will be held on Thursday, September 13, 2012, 09:25 - 13:00 and 15:15 - 18:55, Room Dreitorspitze.



Indium tin oxide, ITO, is the most common of Transparent Conductive Oxides (TCO). However, there are concerns about ITO cost, availability and in some cases, performance. This tutorial covers zinc oxide-based alternatives with various dopants including, aluminum (AZO) and gallium (GZO), as well as other TCO alternatives to ITO. The tutorial is intended for scientists, engineers, technicians and others, interested in understanding the materials, deposition, properties and applications of TCO. The effects of dopant material choice and concentration on TCO properties are explored. TCO deposition by common methods, e.g., evaporation and CVD/pyrolysis, are described, although magnetron sputter deposition is emphasized. The influence of the deposition method on the TCO properties is shown including reported performance with Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD). Engineering of TCO film properties by controlling deposition process parameters is explained. TCO properties with high temperature processes, e.g., on glass substrates, and low temperature processes, e.g., on plastic substrates, are compared. The instability of ZnO-based and other TCO in high temperature and high humidity environments is discussed, progress reported and future directions suggested. Designing and engineering TCO properties for specific applications is explained and examples presented. (This full-day tutorial is much more in-depth than the previously offered one-half day course (C-321) which surveyed alternative TCO types and achieved performance).

Topical Outline:

  • Conductivity in transparent metal oxides
  • Performance expectations; Theory and ITO baseline
  • ZnO-based materials and dopants
  • Performance of TCO grown by major deposition methods
  • Control of TCO Film Properties
  • Other TCO Hosts and dopants
  • Advanced doping Techniques
  • Environmental Performance of ZnO-based and other TCO
  • Designing and Engineering TCO properties for Applications
  • Applications Examples of TCO

Instructor: Clark Bright, Senior Staff Scientist & Group Technical Leader, 3M Corporation, USA


Clark Bright is a Senior Staff Scientist and Group Technical Leader with 3M Corporation. He is directing the development and scale-up of processes for vacuum deposition of multilayer organic and inorganic thin film products. He previously was Vice President at Presstek, Inc., and its Delta V Technology subsidiary, where he directed the R&D of transparent conductive oxides, barrier coatings, polymer multilayer (PML) technology, and custom vacuum coating equipment. While at Southwall Technologies, as Director of Product Development he led the development of a web coating process for sputter depositing a durable, conductive (ITO), multilayer antireflection coating on plastic film used on CRT computer monitors. He has published and presented numerous papers on optical coatings and holds 11 patents in the field.