Photo-induced insulator-semiconductor transition in 12CaO·7Al 2O3 (C12A7)

Katsuro Hayashi, Satoru Matsuishi, Toshio Kamiya, Masahiro Hirano, Hideo Hosono

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We report the first electronic conduction in main group metal oxides (MGOs) or light-metal oxides, which are represented by alkaline-earth oxides, alumina, and silica. They are believed to be never converted to an electronic conductor. One of the MGOs, 12CaO·7Al2O3 (C12A7), has optical transparency, but electrical insulation limits intrinsic form. It is characterized by sub-nanometer sized cages in the lattice framework. Hydride ion, H- was incorporated into the cage by a thermal treatment of C12A7 single crystals or ceramics in hydrogen atmosphere. The product, C12A7:H, was colorless, transparent and a good insulator having electronic conductivity less than 10-10 S·cm-1. We found that the C12A7:H exhibits a coloration of yellowish green corresponding to optical absorptions at 2.8 and 0.4 eV with simultaneous conversion into an electronic conductor with 0.3 S·cm-1 at 300 K upon a irradiation of ultraviolet light, The conductive state continued even after the irradiation was stopped. Inversion to the insulator occurred when heated more than ∼320°C accompanying with rapid decay of the optical absorptions. When temperature rose above 550°C, H2 gas was released from the sample and the photosensitivity was lost. We consider that high concentration of F +-like centers are created by photo-released electrons from the H- anions being captured by empty cages. Further, a migration of the electrons at the F+-like centers may be responsible for the conduction. The visible light absorption loss is estimated to be only 1% for a 200 nm thick conductive C12A7:H films. The present properties provides novel applications such as direct optical writing of conducting wires on insulating transparent media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-255
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventCrystalline Oxide-Silicon Heterostructures and Oxide Optoelectronics - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Dec 2 2002Dec 4 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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