Here we report that ternary metal oxides of type (Me)2O3 with the primary metal (Me) constituent being Fe (66 atomic (at.) %) along with the two Lanthanide elements Tb (10 at.%) and Dy (24 at.%) can show excellent semiconducting transport properties. Thin films prepared by pulsed laser deposition at room temperature followed by ambient oxidation showed very high electronic conductivity (>5 × 104 S/m) and Hall mobility (>30 cm2/V-s). These films had an amorphous microstructure which was stable to at least 500 °C and large optical transparency with a direct band gap of 2.85 ± 0.14 eV. This material shows emergent semiconducting behavior with significantly higher conductivity and mobility than the constituent insulating oxides. Since these results demonstrate a new way to modify the behaviors of transition metal oxides made from unfilled d- and/or f-subshells, a new class of functional transparent conducting oxide materials could be envisioned.
Malasi, A. et al. Novel Iron-based ternary amorphous oxide semiconductor with very high transparency, electronic conductivity, and mobility. Sci. Rep. 5, 2015. doi: 10.1038/srep18157