Issue 36, 2021

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.

Graphical abstract: Latest directions in p-type transparent conductor design

Article information

Article type
Review Article
02 Jun 2021
25 Aug 2021
First published
26 Aug 2021
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

J. Mater. Chem. C, 2021,9, 11995-12009

Latest directions in p-type transparent conductor design

J. Willis and D. O. Scanlon, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2021, 9, 11995 DOI: 10.1039/D1TC02547C

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