Correlated metals as transparent conductors

Lei Zhang, Yuanjun Zhou, Lu Guo, Weiwei Zhao, Anna Barnes, Hai Tian Zhang, Craig Eaton, Yuanxia Zheng, Matthew Brahlek, Hamna F. Haneef, Nikolas J. Podraza, Moses H.W. Chan, Venkatraman Gopalan, Karin M. Rabe, Roman Engel-Herbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

290 Scopus citations


The fundamental challenge for designing transparent conductors used in photovoltaics, displays and solid-state lighting is the ideal combination of high optical transparency and high electrical conductivity. Satisfying these competing demands is commonly achieved by increasing carrier concentration in a wide-bandgap semiconductor with low effective carrier mass through heavy doping, as in the case of tin-doped indium oxide (ITO). Here, an alternative design strategy for identifying high-conductivity, high-transparency metals is proposed, which relies on strong electron-electron interactions resulting in an enhancement in the carrier effective mass. This approach is experimentally verified using the correlated metals SrVO3 and CaVO3, which, despite their high carrier concentration (>2.2 × 1022 cm-3), have low screened plasma energies (<1.33 eV), and demonstrate excellent performance when benchmarked against ITO. A method is outlined to rapidly identify other candidates among correlated metals, and strategies are proposed to further enhance their performance, thereby opening up new avenues to develop transparent conductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-210
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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