Organic materials as ITO substitutes
ITO Replacement

Organic semiconductors (e.g. OLEDs, which are suitable for screens in smartphones and tablet PCs) are usually used in extremely thin films. The typical thickness of the entire device is between 150 and 250 nanometers (nm). Which, in addition to numerous other advantages, entails cheap mass production.

Organic semiconductors are mechanically flexible

Organic materials, on which OLEDs are based, for example, can be processed at low temperatures. They are mechanically flexible and can be applied to flexible, temperature-sensitive substrates such as plastic films. This is an important advantage that is interesting, for example, for the production of flexible displays.

A major disadvantage of such organic semiconductors, however, is the significantly shorter service life, because most organic semiconductors are sensitive to moisture and oxygen. That's why most of them are not yet an ideal ITO replacement.

Research all has the same goal

There is already a lot of research in the field of hybrids or composite materials, the common goal of which is to produce materials with properties such as high conductivity and high optical transparency at the same time and to be able to process them at low cost. After all, a cheaper alternative to ITO is crucial in the competition between different conductive materials.

Currently, however, the stability of these organic materials is even lower than that of the ITO. However, in view of the large number of new conductive electrodes and research, there is little doubt that a suitable alternative to ITO will be found in the near future that meets all wishes and requirements for transparent electrodes. We are curious to see what else will happen in this sector over time.