Material Properties of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO)

Indium tin oxide (ITO) is one of the most widely used transparent conducting oxides (TCO) because of its two main properties: its electrical conductivity and optical transparency. It is also a relatively inexpensive material and is easy to be deposited as a thin film on glass, PET, and other substrates.  Thin films of indium tin oxide are most commonly deposited on surfaces by physical vapor deposition, such as the various sputtering techniques. 

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 material's conductivity, but decreases its transparency.

ITO glass optical absorption curve

MSE Supplies is a leading supplier of ITO coated glass substrates and ITO coated PET films with a worldwide customer base.  Many well known labs around the world have been using our ITO products in their research and product development projects. Both standard and customized (patterned) ITO substrates are available from MSE Supplies.  Contact us today to discuss your project requirements


A list of material properties of ITO is provided below for reference. 




Mass density

6.8 g/cm3

J Vac Sci Tech A 19:5(2043-7); 2001

Young's modulus

(sputtered, 10wt% SnO2)


116 GPa


Thin Solid Films 278:1-2(12-17); 1995

Poisson ratio

(sputtered, 10wt% SnO2)




Thin Solid Films 278:1-2(12-17); 1995

Stiffness Constants



Tensile or fracture strength

failure strain (105 nm film)

failure strain (16.8 nm film)





MRS Symp Proc 666 (F3.24.1 – 12); 2001

Residual stress on silicon

(sputtered, 10wt% SnO2)


-2.1 ~ -2.3 GPa


Thin Solid Films 278:1-2(12-17); 1995

Specific heat



Thermal conductivity


Journal of Applied Physics 105, 073709 (2009)

Dielectric constant



Index of refraction

(increases with anneal)

~1.7 @633 nm

1.8 - 2.0

Appl Surf Sci 179:1-4(181-90); 2001

J Vac Sci Tech A 19:5(2514-21); 2001

Electrical conductivity

(“standard” sputtered)

(epi, 5.7wt% SnO2)


~104 S/cm

1.3 x 104 S/cm

Thin Solid Films 411:1(1-5); 2002

Vacuum 66:3-4(419-25); 2002

Magnetic permeability



Piezoresistivity: gage factor (sputtered)

(laser deposited)


0.2 ~ -14.7

2.04 ~ -77.71


J Appl Phys 91:9(6194-6); 2002

Thin Solid Films 288 (279-286); 1996




Wet etching method

oxalic acid


Langmuir 18:1(194-7); 2002

J Electron Mat 25:12(1806-17); 1996

Plasma etching method


J Vac Sci Tech A 16:4(2177-86); 1998

Adhesion to silicon dioxide

good – in pullofftests of 1000 Å ITO and 1300-30,000 Å SiO2, failures occurred in substrate rather than ITO/oxide.

Appl Surf Sci 115:1(96-102); 1997


no observed inhibition of cell growth; small amount of protein adsorption

Proc IEEE/EMBS Conf on Microtechnologies in Medicine & Biology(261-4);2002



advancing qc

receding qr

varies strongly with surface treatment



J Appl Phys 86:5 (2774-8); 1999