When it comes to “ITO”, it can be International Trade Organization, Involuntary Treatment Order， or Information Technology Outsourcing. But in chemistry, this abbreviation refers directly to a chemical material—Indium Tin Oxide.
Indium tin oxide is a black-gray ceramic material mixed by indium oxide and tin oxide powder in a certain ratio. As a nano indium tin metal oxide, it has excellent electrical conductivity and transparency and can cut off electron radiation, ultraviolet rays and far infrared rays harmful to the human body. Therefore, indium tin oxide is usually sprayed on glass, plastic and electronic display screens, used as a transparent conductive film, while reducing the harmful electronic radiation, ultraviolet and infrared. Indium tin oxide sputtering target is the essential material for producing ITO film.
ITO and its derivatives (such as ITO films, ITO glass, ITO sputter target, ITO evaporation pellets, etc.) have many applications in various industries.
ITO conductive glass is made by processing a layer of indium tin oxide film by sputtering, evaporation, etc. on the basis of soda-lime-based or silicon-boron-based glass. Most electronic displays are ITO glasses.
The ITO conductive glass applied to the liquid crystal display also needs to be coated with a silicon dioxide barrier layer before the ITO layer is plated to prevent sodium ions on the substrate glass from diffusing into the liquid crystal in the cell. The ITO glass substrate for liquid crystal display is generally ultra-float glass, and all the coated surfaces are glass float tin surfaces. Therefore, the final liquid crystal display will follow the direction of the float, and irregular ripples will occur regularly.
ITO film is an indium tin oxide semiconductor transparent conductive film prepared by vacuum evaporation or sputtering deposition. The film has high conductivity, high visible light transmittance, high mechanical hardness and good chemical stability. In recent years, it has become more and more advantageous in the film manufacturing industry and has become one of the best performing TOCs. It is the most commonly used thin film material for transparent electrodes of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), plasma displays (PDPs), electroluminescent displays (EL/OLEDs), touch panels (TouchPanel), solar cells, and other electronic meters.
The transmittance and resistance of the ITO film are controlled by the ratio of In2O3 and SnO2, respectively. Increasing the ratio of indium oxide can increase the transmittance of ITO, usually SnO2: In2O3=1:9. Since the thickness of tin oxide exceeds a certain degree, the transparency is usually not good enough – although the conductivity is good.
ITO target, a mixture of indium trioxide and tin dioxide, is an important raw material for the preparation of ITO films. The theoretical density of the ITO target is 7115 g/cm3, while the high-quality ITO target should have a relative density of ≥99%. Such ITO targets have lower electrical resistivity, higher thermal conductivity, and higher mechanical strength. The high-density target can be sputtered on a glass substrate at a lower temperature to obtain a conductive film having lower resistivity and a higher light transmittance, and even can be sputtered on the organic material.
There are four main ways to mold indium tin oxide sputtering target, including spraying, cold isostatic pressing, hot isostatic pressing and wet forming. You can refer to Advantages and disadvantages of different preparation methods for ITO targets for more information.
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