Thin films of Ti-Cr-Al-O are used as a resistor material. The films are rf sputter deposited from ceramic targets using a reactive working gas mixture of Ar and O.sub.2. Resistivity values from 10.sup.4 to 10.sup.10 Ohm-cm have been measured for Ti-Cr-Al-O film <1 .mu.m thick. The film resistivity can be discretely selected through control of the target composition and the deposition parameters. The application of Ti-Cr-Al-O as a thin film resistor has been found to be thermodynamically stable, unlike other metal-oxide films. The Ti-Cr-Al-O film can be used as a vertical or lateral resistor, for example, as a layer beneath a field emission cathode in a flat panel display; or used to control surface emissivity, for example, as a coating on an insulating material such as vertical wall supports in flat panel displays.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.