Transparent Conductive Oxides
It's all in the name.
A material that is both optically transparent, and electrically conductive. There have been many different combinations of materials that provide these properties, but none has been as stable and widely adopted as Indium Tin Oxide or ITO.
At SCI, we have the privilege of seeing this material in its bulk form. In its sputtering-target form, ITO isn't transparent at all due to the density of the material. It's important at SCI that when we manufacture a sputtering target, it be as dense as possible so that our customers get as much use out of the target as possible. A high-density target material is even more important when the target needs to be conducive since there is a direct relationship between the density of a material and its electrical conductivity. Many large, commercial coating operations use systems that are DC (Direct Current) powered, which means that the sputtering target must be conducive for thin-film deposition to occur.