Transparent Conductive Oxides (TCOs)
Increasing demand for interactive screens and the integration of sensors and electronic components into "SMART" products, such as displays, touch panels, solar cells, and low-emissivity (low-E) glass, has led to a growing need for transparent electrodes with excellent electrical conductivity and optical transparency. Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) has been widely used as a transparent conductive oxide due to its high electrical conductivity and optical transparency. It is commonly deposited using sputtering techniques onto heated substrates. Aluminum-doped Zinc Oxide (AZO) has gained attention as an attractive and economical alternative to ITO. AZO films can, however, exhibit reduced electrical conductivity when exposed to high humidity environments, which can affect performance and reliability in certain applications. Additional measures, such as encapsulation or protective coatings, may therefore be required to enhance the humidity resistance of AZO-based electrodes.
AGC Plasma Technology Solutions offers planar and rotatable cathodes for sputtering of Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) materials. These processes can be supported with optical emission spectroscopy (OES). OES is a technique that involves analyzing the emission spectra of the plasma during the sputtering process. By monitoring the wavelengths and intensities of the emitted light, OES provides information about the composition and behavior of the plasma, which in turn can be used to fine-tune and optimize the deposition process to ensure highest-quality TCO coatings.