Indium tin oxide
Indium tin oxide (ITO) is a ternary composition of indium, tin and oxygen in varying proportions. Depending on the oxygen content, it can be described as either a ceramic or an alloy. Indium tin oxide is typically encountered as an oxygen-saturated composition with a formulation of 74% In, 18% Sn, and 8% O by weight. Oxygen-saturated compositions are so typical that unsaturated compositions are termed oxygen-deficient ITO. It is transparent and colorless in thin layers, while in bulk form it is yellowish to gray. In the infrared region of the spectrum it acts as a metal-like mirror.
Indium tin oxide is one of the most widely used transparent conducting oxides because of its electrical conductivity and optical transparency, the ease with which it can be deposited as a thin film, and its chemical resistance to moisture. As with all transparent conducting films, a compromise must be made between conductivity and transparency, since increasing the thickness and increasing the concentration of charge carriers increases the film's conductivity, but decreases its transparency.
Thin films of indium tin oxide are most commonly deposited on surfaces by physical vapor deposition. Often used is electron beam evaporation, or a range of sputter deposition techniques.