Sputtered transparent electrodes for optoelectronic devices: Induced damage and mitigation strategies

Erkan Aydin, Cesur Altinkaya, Yury Smirnov, Muhammad A. Yaqin, Kassio P.S. Zanoni, Abhyuday Paliwal, Yuliar Firdaus, Thomas Allen, Thomas D. Anthopoulos, Henk J. Bolink, Monica Morales-Masis, Stefaan De Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Transparent electrodes and metal contacts deposited by magnetron sputtering find applications in numerous state-of-the-art optoelectronic devices, such as solar cells and light-emitting diodes. However, the deposition of such thin films may damage underlying sensitive device layers due to plasma emission and particle impact. Inserting a buffer layer to shield against such damage is a common mitigation approach. We start this review by describing how sputtered transparent top electrodes have become archetypal for a broad range of optoelectronic devices and then discuss the possible detrimental consequences of sputter damage on device performance. Next, we review common buffer-layer materials in view of their processingproperty-performance relationship. Finally, we discuss strategies to eliminate the buffer-layer requirement by implementing alternative, soft-landing deposition techniques for top electrodes. Our review highlights the critical issue of sputter damage for optoelectronic devices, formulates mitigation strategies, and provides cross-field learnings that can lead to more efficient and reliable optoelectronic devices aimed for commercialization.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3549-3584
Number of pages36
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 3 2021


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