Europhys. Lett.
Volume 69, Number 4, February 2005
Page(s) 583 - 587
Section Condensed matter: electronic structure, electrical, magnetic, and optical properties
Published online 19 January 2005
Europhys. Lett., 69 (4), pp. 583-587 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2004-10386-y

Combining high conductivity with complete optical transparency: A band structure approach

J. E. Medvedeva and A. J. Freeman

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University Evanston, IL 60208-3112, USA

received 29 September 2004; accepted 13 December 2004
published online 19 January 2005

A comparison of the structural, optical and electronic properties of the recently discovered transparent conducting oxide (TCO), nanoporous $\chem{Ca_{12}Al_{14}O_{33}}$, with those of the conventional TCOs (such as $\chem{Sc}$-doped $\chem{CdO}$) indicates that this material belongs conceptually to a new class of transparent conductors. For this class of materials, we formulate criteria for the successful combination of high electrical conductivity with complete transparency in the visible range and emphasize the significant correlation between their structural characteristics and electronic and optical properties. Our analysis suggests that this set of requirements can be met for a group of novel materials called electrides which may have desired features such as connected structural cavities, large bandgaps and near-metallic electronic conductivity.

71.20.-b - Electron density of states and band structure of crystalline solids.
72.20.-i - Conductivity phenomena in semiconductors and insulators.
78.20.Bh - Optical properties of bulk materials and thin films: Theory, models, and numerical simulation.

© EDP Sciences 2005