Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

TCO Related Abstracts

3 Influence of the Molar Concentration and Substrate Temperature on Fluorine-Doped Zinc Oxide Thin Films Chemically Sprayed

Authors: J. Ramirez, A. Maldonado, M. de la L. Olvera


The effect of both the molar concentration of the starting solution and the substrate temperature on the electrical, morphological, structural and optical properties of chemically sprayed fluorine-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:F) thin films deposited on glass substrates, is analyzed in this work. All the starting solutions employed were aged for ten days before the deposition. The results show that as the molar concentration increases, a decrease in the electrical resistivity values is obtained, reaching the minimum in films deposited from a 0.4 M solution at 500°C. A further increase in the molar concentration leads to a very slight increase in the resistivity. On the other hand, as the substrate temperature is increased, the resistivity decreases and a tendency towards to minimum value is evidenced; taking the molar concentration as parameter, minimum values are reached at 500°C. The attain of ZnO:F thin films, with a resistivity as low as 7.8×10-3 Ώcm (sheet resistance of 130 Ώ/☐ and film thickness of 600 nm) measured in as-deposited films is reported here for the first time. The concurrent effect of the high molar concentration of the starting solution, the substrate temperature values used, and the ageing of the starting solution, which might cause polymerization of the zinc ions with the fluorine species, enhance the electrical properties. The structure of the films is polycrystalline, with a (002) preferential growth. Molar concentration rules the surface morphology as at low concentration an hexagonal and porous structure is developed changing to a uniform compact and small grain size surface in the films deposited with the high molar concentrations.

Keywords: Thin Films, zinc oxide, chemical spray, TCO

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2 Undoped and Fluorine Doped Zinc Oxide (ZnO:F) Thin Films Deposited by Ultrasonic Chemical Spray: Effect of the Solution on the Electrical and Optical Properties

Authors: E. Chávez-Vargas, M. de la L. Olvera-Amador, A. Jimenez-Gonzalez, A. Maldonado


Undoped and fluorine doped zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films were deposited on sodocalcic glass substrates by the ultrasonic chemical spray technique. As the main goal is the manufacturing of transparent electrodes, the effects of both the solution composition and the substrate temperature on both the electrical and optical properties of ZnO thin films were studied. As a matter of fact, the effect of fluorine concentration ([F]/[F+Zn] at. %), solvent composition (acetic acid, water, methanol ratios) and ageing time, regarding solution composition, were varied. In addition, the substrate temperature and the deposition time, regarding the chemical spray technique, were also varied. Structural studies confirm the deposition of polycrystalline, hexagonal, wurtzite type, ZnO. The results show that the increase of ([F]/[F+Zn] at. %) ratio in the solution, decreases the sheet resistance, RS, of the ZnO:F films, reaching a minimum, in the order of 1.6 Ωcm, at 60 at. %; further increase in the ([F]/[F+Zn]) ratio increases the RS of the films. The same trend occurs with the variation in substrate temperature, as a minimum RS of ZnO:F thin films was encountered when deposited at TS= 450 °C. ZnO:F thin films deposited with aged solution show a significant decrease in the RS in the order of 100 ΩS. The transmittance of the films was also favorable affected by the solvent ratio and, more significantly, by the ageing of the solution. The whole evaluation of optical and electrical characteristics of the ZnO:F thin films deposited under different conditions, was done under Haacke’s figure of Merit in order to have a clear and quantitative trend as transparent conductors application.

Keywords: zinc oxide, ZnO:F, TCO, Haacke’s figure of Merit

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1 Realization and Characterizations of Conducting Ceramics Based on ZnO Doped by TiO₂, Al₂O₃ and MgO

Authors: Qianying Sun, Abdelhadi Kassiba, Guorong Li


ZnO with wurtzite structure is a well-known semiconducting oxide (SCO), being applied in thermoelectric devices, varistors, gas sensors, transparent electrodes, solar cells, liquid crystal displays, piezoelectric and electro-optical devices. Intrinsically, ZnO is weakly n-type SCO due to native defects (Znⱼ, Vₒ). However, the substitutional doping by metallic elements as (Al, Ti) gives rise to a high n-type conductivity ensured by donor centers. Under CO+N₂ sintering atmosphere, Schottky barriers of ZnO ceramics will be suppressed by lowering the concentration of acceptors at grain boundaries and then inducing a large increase in the Hall mobility, thereby increasing the conductivity. The presented work concerns ZnO based ceramics, which are fabricated with doping by TiO₂ (0.50mol%), Al₂O₃ (0.25mol%) and MgO (1.00mol%) and sintering in different atmospheres (Air (A), N₂ (N), CO+N₂(C)). We obtained uniform, dense ceramics with ZnO as the main phase and Zn₂TiO₄ spinel as a secondary and minor phase. An important increase of the conductivity was shown for the samples A, N, and C which were sintered under different atmospheres. The highest conductivity (σ = 1.52×10⁵ S·m⁻¹) was obtained under the reducing atmosphere (CO). The role of doping was investigated with the aim to identify the local environment and valence states of the doping elements. Thus, Electron paramagnetic spectroscopy (EPR) determines the concentration of defects and the effects of charge carriers in ZnO ceramics as a function of the sintering atmospheres. The relation between conductivity and defects concentration shows the opposite behavior between these parameters suggesting that defects act as traps for charge carriers. For Al ions, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technique was used to identify the involved local coordination of these ions. Beyond the six and forth coordinated Al, an additional NMR signature of ZnO based TCO requires analysis taking into account the grain boundaries and the conductivity through the Knight shift effects. From the thermal evolution of the conductivity as a function of the sintering atmosphere, we succeed in defining the conditions to realize ZnO based TCO ceramics with an important thermal coefficient of resistance (TCR) which is promising for electrical safety of devices.

Keywords: Ceramics, Defects, Conductivity, ZnO, TCO

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