Indium tin oxide (ITO)-free optoelectronic devices have been discussed for a number of years in the light of a possible indium shortage as demand rises. In particular, this is due to the largely increased number of flat panel displays and especially liquid crystal displays (LCDs) being produced for home entertainment TV and mobile technologies. While a shortage of primary indium seems far on the horizon, nevertheless, recycling has become an important issue, as has the development of ITO-free electrode materials, especially for flexible liquid crystal devices. The main contenders for new electrode technologies are discussed with an emphasis placed on carbon-based materials for LCDs, including composite approaches. At present, these already fulfil the technical specifications demanded from ITO with respect to transmittance and sheet resistance, albeit not in relation to cost and large-scale production. Advantages and disadvantages of ITO-free technologies are discussed, with application examples given. An outlook into the future suggests no immediate transition to carbon-based electrodes in the area of LCDs, while this may change in the future once flexible displays and environmentally friendly smart window solutions or energy harvesting building coverings become available.
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