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The use of transparent conductive oxides (TCO) is one of the most critical issues in several fields: photovoltaics, transparent electronics, smart windows, touch screens. Indium free and ultra-thin TCO are highly desired for several reasons and new materials are thus studied as Transparent Conductive Materials (TCM), e.g. metal nanowires and graphene. This activity focus on the fabrication of ultra-thin innovative TCM, mainly based on In-free oxides. Very thin films (about 100 nm) are grown by magnetron sputtering with the aim of having highly flexible TCMs for devices fabricated on plastic substrates. The activity is partially overlapped with that of the energy conversion devices where TCM for innovative solar cells are also exploited. The main innovation is the use of very thin TCO layers grown at room or low temperature (T<250 °C) using In-free materials mostly based on ZnO. Among the new TCM under investigation, a key role is played by a multilayer made by AZO/Ag/AZO, with only 10 nm of Ag in between. The presence of the metallic intra-layer produces a low electrical resistivity and a very high structural flexibility.

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