Transparent and conductive coatings (TCO and CNT)

Transparent conductive coatings have a wide range of potential uses. Examples include heatable glazing solutions, antistatic surface and transparent electrodes for displays and solar cells.

Transparente PMMA Platte mit leitfähiger Oberfläche
© Fraunhofer IWS Dresden
Transparente PMMA Platte mit leitfähiger Oberfläche
Transparent conductive tin dioxide coating
© Fraunhofer IWS Dresden
Transparent conductive tin dioxide coating

CNT 

IWS engineers follow two different approaches. One idea is to embed extremely conductive carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into polymers. This process creates transparent conductive surfaces, which are especially useful for antistatic applications. The polymers are directly functionalized with the CNTs during the fabrication process of the plastic part.

TCO

Another approach is the deposition of conductive oxides such as fluorine doped tin dioxide (SnO2:F). This material is a low-cost alternative to the widely used indium tin oxide.

These conductive films are fabricated using chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The process operates at atmospheric pressure (AP-CVD) and comparatively low temperatures. This makes large area deposition possible for many substrate materials.