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Thin-film transistors (TFTs) have become integral to a wide variety of electronic devices, including flat-panel displays, touch screens, and solar cells. TFT manufacturing processes are inextricably linked to magnesium oxide (MgO) targets, and this sputtering target for thin-film coating applications is increasingly being used to enhance TFTs’ performance. This article will explore the role of magnesium oxide targets in TFT production, its advantages over other materials, and its impact on the future of electronic devices.

Understanding Thin-Film Transistors

Before explaining the role of magnesium oxide targets in TFT production, it is necessary to understand how these transistors work. A TFT is essentially a switch that controls the flow of current between a source and a drain. It consists of several layers, including semiconductor layers, gate electrodes, and insulating layers, as shown in the figure below. The gate electrode is used to control the current flowing through the semiconductor layer and is also where the film is deposited.

Basic Thin Film Transistor Structure
Basic Thin Film Transistor Structure. Sharma, Anchal & Madhu, Charu & Singh, Jatinder. (2014). Performance Evaluation of Thin Film Transistors: History, Technology Development and Comparison: A Review. International Journal of Computer Applications. 89. 10.5120/15710-4603.

Limitations of Commonly Used Semiconductor Materials

The semiconductor layers in a TFT are typically made of amorphous silicon, indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO), and zinc oxide (ZnO), each with its own specific advantages such as superior optical properties, high mobility and transparency, and excellent electrical and optical properties respectively. However, these materials also have limitations in their electrical performance and stability, making them less desirable for certain applications. It is at this point that magnesium oxide targets come into play to overcome these drawbacks.

Introduction to Magnesium Oxide Target

Magnesium oxide sputtering targets are used for thin film coating applications. It has a high dielectric constant and low leakage current, making it an ideal material for implementing gate dielectrics in thin film transistors (TFTs). The MgO layer is used as a buffer layer between the semiconductor layer and the gate electrode, which can improve the electrical performance and stability of the TFT by reducing leakage current and increasing carrier mobility. Apart from it, the layer is very stable, and it helps to extend the lifetime of the TFT.

Advantages over Other Insulating Materials

Magnesia has several advantages over other insulating materials such as silicon dioxide (SiO2) or aluminum oxide (Al2O3).

One of its primary strengths is its high dielectric constant, which permits it to hold and transfer more electrical charge per unit area than other materials. This results in improved electrical performance for devices like thin-film transistors (TFTs) and other electronic components.

Another advantage of magnesium oxide is its excellent thermal stability. This quality makes it an ideal choice for use in high-temperature environments where other insulation materials may degrade or fail to perform adequately.

Moreover, magnesium oxide exhibits a low leakage current, making it superior to other materials like silicon dioxide for electrical insulation. As a result, less energy is lost due to leakage currents.

Implications for the Future of Electronic Devices

As the demand for high-performance electronics continues to increase, magnesium oxide targets will play a more critical role in the production of TFTs and other electronic components. The use of these targets guarantees the dependable and consistent performance of these devices, leading to enhanced efficiency and longevity.


Magnesium oxide targets have a key role in the production of TFTs, enhancing their electrical properties and overall stability. With its exceptional properties, such as high dielectric constant, excellent thermal stability, and reliability, magnesium oxide has become an ideal material not only for TFTs but also for other electronic devices. As technology advances and becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, the demand for high-performance electronic devices will continue to increase. Therefore, the role of magnesium oxide targets in their production will become even more crucial.

Stanford Advanced Material (SAM) provides quality Magnesium oxide targets and pellets for a variety of applications. Hope that you can select the perfect wafers for your projects. For more information, please check our homepage.

About the author

Julissa Green graduated from the University of Texas studying applied chemistry. She started her journalism life as a chemistry specialist in Stanford Advanced Materials (SAM) since 2016 and she has been fascinated by this fast growing industry ever since. If you have any particular topics of interest, or you have any questions, you can reach her at julissa@samaterials.com.

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About Us

Stanford Advanced Materials (SAM) Corporation is a global supplier of various sputtering targets such as metals, alloys, oxides, ceramic materials. It was first established in 1994 to begin supplying high-quality rare-earth products to assist our customers in the research and development (R&D) fields.

September 2023
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