A primary metal-semiconductor interface can create a potential energy barrier to the efficient flow of electrons, depending on the electronic properties of the two materials. It is vital to make a careful choice of contact material and the process to deposit material onto the semiconductor. The design considerations are more complicated for optoelectronic components such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), photodetectors, and solar cells. These devices require a transparent contact material to allow light in or out. Now, researchers have presented an overview of the process to stop damage occurring on devices during the creation of transparent electrodes, particularly for a technique known as sputtering.
The sputtering process works by placing the target semiconductor into a vacuum chamber and surrounding it in plasma. When an electric field forms between the target and the cathode made of the material to be sputtered, the fast-moving plasma ions transfer atoms/molecules from one to the other.
This technique for transparent electrodes is beneficial for creating low resistivity and high transparency thin films of transparent conductive oxides (TCO), such as indium tin oxide (ITO).