Indian-origin scientists in the US have discovered a new material which has higher conductivity and it could help in the development of faster, smaller and powerful electronic devices.
The researchers of the University of Minnesota in the US said this nano-scale thin film material is unique as it has a high conductivity and it helps electronics conduct more electricity and become more powerful.
This material also has a wide bandgap. It means light can easily pass through the material making it optically transparent. Most of the cases where materials have a wide bandgap, it either has a low conductivity or has a poor transparency.
The lead researcher on the study and a professor at the University of Minnesota, Bharat Jalan said, “The high conductivity and wide bandgap make this an ideal material for making optically transparent conducting films which could be used in a wide variety of electronic devices.”
He stated this includes “high power electronics, electronic displays, touch screens and even solar cells in which light needs to pass through the device.”
A chemical element which is known as indium is used by most of the transparent conductors in electronics. It is the reason why the price of indium has been raised up extremely in the past few years.
That is why an alternative material that is better than indium based transparent conductor is made.
The scientists found out a transparent conducting thin film with the help of a novel synthesis method. So they grew BaSnO3 film which is a combination of barium, tin and oxygen. It is also known as barium stannate. The tin source was replaced by a chemical precursor of tin, which has unique properties that improve the chemical reactivity and develops metal oxide formation procedure.
Another advantage is barium and tin are relatively cheaper than indium. A graduate student at the University of Minnesota, Abhinav Prakash said, “We were quite surprised at how well this unconventional approach worked the very first time we used the tin chemical precursor.”
Prakash who was the first author of the paper published in the journal Nature Communications added, “It was a big risk, but it was quite a big breakthrough for us.”