Transparent conducting oxides (TCO) with p-type semiconductivity have recently gained renewed interest for the fabrication of all-oxide transparent junctions, having potential applications in the emerging field of ‘Transparent’ or ‘Invisible Electronics’. This kind of transparent junctions can be used as a “functional” window, which will transmit visible portion of solar radiation, but generates electricity by the absorption of the UV part. Therefore, these devices can be used as UV shield as well as UV cells. In this report, a brief review on the research activities on various p-TCO materials is furnished along-with the fabrication of different transparent p-n homojunction, heterojunction and field-effect transistors. Also the reason behind the difficulties in obtaining p-TCO materials and possible solutions are discussed in details. Considerable attention is given in describing the various patent generations on the field of p-TCO materials as well as transparent p-n junction diodes and light emitting devices. Also, most importantly, a detailed review and patenting activities on the nanocrystalline p-TCO materials and transparent nano-active device fabrication are furnished with considerable attention. And finally, a systematic description on the fabrication and characterization of nanocrystalline, ptype transparent conducting CuAlO2 thin film, deposited by cost-effective low-temperature DC sputtering technique, by our group, is furnished in details. These p-TCO micro/nano-materials have wide range of applications in the field of optoelectronics, nanoelectronics, space sciences, field-emission displays, thermoelectric converters and sensing devices.
Keywords: P-type transparent conducting oxide (p-TCO), nanocrystalline p-TCO, transparent p-n junction, transparent field effect transistor (TFET), nano-active device, transparent nanoelectronics, delafossite structure, nonstoichiometry, p-type doping, p-CuAlO2 nanoparticles
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