Project TitleConductive and Transparent Thin Films
Track Code2006-018
Short Description

New transparent conducting oxide thin films with improved features for use in optoelectronics 

#materials #thinfilms #electronic #photovoltaic 


Many optoelectronic devices depend on transparent conducting thin films based on tin-doped indium oxide (ITO). While ITO is the current material of choice, it has several drawbacks, such a modest conductivity, high price and a relatively low work function. Novel materials with improved characteristics that can be fashioned into thin films using a standard method, like metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) are being investigated by many groups around the world. The Marks group from Northwestern University has developed a novel zinc- and tin-doped indium thin film (ZITO), which has superior performance characteristics compared to ITO films when incorporated into a polymer light-emitting diode (PLED). In addition, ZITO exhibits high conductivity and transparency. Northwestern University researchers have also solved a problem often encountered with zinc-doped thin film fabrication, so that ZITO thin films can be manufactured using MOCVD. With these favorable characteristics,  ZITO thin films could find many applications in manufacturing of solar cells, as well as other optoelectronic devices (e.g. displays, remote sensors etc). 

TagsMATERIALS: thin films, MATERIALS: electronic, MATERIALS: photovoltaic
Posted DateJan 28, 2015 5:57 PM


Jun Ni

Anchuan Wang

Yu Yang

Andrew Metz

Shu Jin

Lian Wang

Tobin J. Marks*


  • Solar cells
  • Anodes for optoelectronic devices 


  • High conductivity
  • High optical transmittance over a wide spectral range (< 80%)
  • Higher light output and current efficiency of PLED devices (70% increase)
  • Simple processing can be accomplished by standard methods


IP Status

Issued US patent number 8,138,364

Contact Information

Zach Brown, PhD

Invention Associate

(p) 847.491.4629