The full text of this article


Transparent conductors for solar energy and energy efficiency: a broad-brush picture
by Claes G. Granqvist
International Journal of Nanotechnology (IJNT), Vol. 6, No. 9, 2009


Abstract: Transparent conductors (TCs) have numerous and diverse applications for solar energy applications and for energy efficiency. The largest of these applications, in terms of area, are based on the fact that the TCs have low infrared emittance and can be used to improve the thermal properties of modern fenestration. Depending on whether the TCs are reflecting or not in the near infrared pertinent to solar irradiation, the TCs can serve in 'solar control' or 'low-emittance' windows. Other applications rely on the electrical conductivity of the TCs, which render them useful as current collectors in solar cells and for inserting and extracting electrical charge in electrochromic 'smart windows' capable of combining energy efficiency and indoor comfort in buildings. This paper ventures to give a broad-brush picture of TCs and discuss their properties from the perspective of the radiative properties in our ambience. This approach leads naturally to considerations of spectral selectivity, angular selectivity, and temporal variability of TCs. The spectrally selective materials are thin films based on metals (normally silver) or wide band gap semiconductors with heavy doping (normally based on indium, tin, or zinc). The potential importance of carbon-based TCs is emphasised. Angular dependent TCs, especially those for which the properties are governed by inclined columnar nanostructures, are introduced. A discussion of TC-like materials with thermochromic and electrochromic properties is included, especially with regard to vanadium-dioxide-based films and electrochromic multilayer structures embracing tungsten oxide and nickel oxide.

Online publication date: Wed, 24-Jun-2009


is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.

Existing subscribers:
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.

Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.

Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Nanotechnology (IJNT):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:


    Username:        Password:         

Forgotten your password?

Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.

If you still need assistance, please email