Latest directions in p-type transparent conductor design
Transparent conducting materials (TCMs) are crucial in the operation of modern opto-electronic devices, combining the lucrative properties of optical transparency and electronic conductivity. More than ever we rely on display and touch screens, energy efficient windows and solar cells in our day to day lives. The market for transparent electronics is projected to surpass $3.8 billion by 2026 as the automotive industry seek to incorporate pop-up displays into driver windshields, and the prospect of touch-enabled transparent displays challenges the traditional mouse and keyboard mode of computer operation. However, these new technologies rely heavily on the development of high performance p-type TCMs, a task that has posed a significant challenge to researchers for decades. This review will cover the basic theory and design principles of transparent conductors, followed by an overview of early p-type TCMs and their shortcomings. We discuss the impact of high-throughput screening studies on materials discovery and critically assess the family of p-type halide perovskites that emerged from these, ruling them as unsuitable candidates for high-performance applications. We find that phosphides, selenides, tellurides and halides are the most promising emerging materials, capable of achieving greater valence band dispersion than traditional oxides, and we discuss the challenges facing these more exotic systems. The smorgasbord of materials presented in this review should guide experimental and computational scientists alike in the next phase of p-type transparent conductor research.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Recent Open Access Articles and Journal of Materials Chemistry C Recent Review Articles