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Tutorial Course Descriptions

Detailed Syllabus

C-304 ITO and Other Transparent Conductive Coatings: Fundamentals, Deposition, Properties, and Applications

This tutorial is intended for scientists, engineers, technicians, and others, interested in understanding the deposition and properties of transparent conductive coatings (TCCs). The major topic of the tutorial is indium tin oxide, ITO. Deposition by dc magnetron sputtering is emphasized although all common deposition processes are described. Specific examples of the ITO properties achieved with evaporation, reactive and ceramic target sputtering deposition processes are shown. Post-deposition processing also is discussed. A methodology is described for developing an ITO (or any TCC) deposition process in your own equipment. Typical ITO properties are compared with those achieved by optically enhanced metals TCC (alternative TCO to ITO are mentioned but not discussed in detail – see C-321). The selection and design of a TCC to meet the requirements of a particular application are presented. Some knowledge of basic thin film coatings and interference optics is assumed, although key basics will be reviewed. The tutorial will briefly cover the basic physics and fundamentals of conductivity. A prior introductory solid state physics tutorial would be helpful but is not required. Time will be available for questions concerning your process problems.

 

Topical Outline:
  • Basic physics of transparent conductive coatings (TCCs)
  • Major deposition methods for TCCs
  • Control of TCC Film Properties
  • Selection of deposition method and process conditions
  • TCC performance in applications
  • Manufacturing issues
  • Optional topics

     

    — Thin film optics

    — Metal Nitride TCC
Course Details:

This tutorial is intended for scientists, engineers, technicians, and others, interested in understanding the deposition and properties of Transparent Conductive Coatings (TCC). The major topic of the tutorial is indium tin oxide, ITO, the most common of Transparent Conductive Oxides (TCO). Deposition by DC magnetron sputtering is emphasized although all common deposition processes are described. Specific examples of ITO properties achieved with evaporation, reactive and ceramic target sputter deposition processes are shown. Post-deposition processing also is discussed.

A methodology is described for developing an ITO (or any TCC) deposition process in your own equipment. Developing a “Resistivity Well” and process control of the ITO film properties are explained. Typical ITO properties on glass (high temperature substrates) and plastics (low temperature substrates) are compared with those achieved by TCC using optically enhanced noble metals. The selection and design of a TCC to meet the requirements of a particular application are presented. Alternative Transparent Conductive Oxides (TCO) to ITO are mentioned but ot discussed in detail (see tutorial C-321).

Introduction

  • Tutorial Overview
  • Class Background and Interests
  • Brief History of TCC Developments

Basic Physics of Transparent Conductive Coatings (TCC)

  • Fundamentals of Conductivity
  • Conductivity of Thin Films
  • Optical Properties Related to Conductivity

Major Deposition Methods for TCC

  • Evaporation
  • Sputtering
  • Pyrolysis and CVD

Control of TCC Film Properties

  • Starting Material
  • Deposition Process
  • Post Deposition Processing

Selection of Deposition Method and Process Conditions

  • Important Process Parameter
  • Process Examples and Associated Coating Properties
  • Developing a TCO Deposition Process

TCC Performance in Applications

  • Application Examples
  • TCC Function
  • Strategy for Matching Application Requirements

Manufacturing Issues

  • Sputtering Targets
  • Etching
  • Defects
  • Indium Cost

Optional Topics

  • Thin Film Optics
  • Metal Nitride TCC

Some knowledge of basic thin film coatings and interference optics is assumed, although key basics will be reviewed. The tutorial will briefly cover the basic physics and fundamentals of conductivity. A prior introductory solid state physics tutorial would be helpful but is not required.

Not all of the topics listed above will be discussed in detail due to Tutorial time limitations. However, all of the topics will be included in the provided Tutorial Notes. The Instructor will select topics from the Tutorial Outline based on class background and interests. Time will be available for questions concerning your process problems.

Instructor: Clark Bright, Bright Thin Film Solutions, LLC (retired 3M)
Clark Bright

was a Senior Staff Scientist and Group Technical Leader with 3M Corporate Research Laboratory before he retired in December 2012 to form a consulting practice – Bright Thin Film Solutions, LLC. At 3M he developed roll coated, vacuum deposited multilayer organic and inorganic thin film products for optical, conductive and barrier applications. Previously, he was Vice President at Presstek, Inc., and Delta V Technology subsidiary, where he directed the R&D of transparent conductive oxides, barrier coatings and polymer multilayer (PML) technology. While Director of Product Development at Southwall Technologies, he led teams developing sputter deposited transparent low e and solar control coatings, transparent conductive metal and oxide coatings, and durable conductive (ITO) multilayer antireflection coatings on plastic film. He served 12 years on the Board of Directors, and was President of Society of Vacuum Coaters (SVC). In 2009, he received the SVC Mentor Award, and the Nathaniel Sugerman Award in 2012. He has presented and published numerous papers on optical coatings including book chapters on transparent conductors in “Transparent Electronics: From Synthesis to Applications” (Wiley, 2010) and “Optical Thin Films and Coatings from Materials to Applications” (Woodhouse, 2013). He holds 27 U.S. patents in the field.


This course is currently available via:
On Location Education Program

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