Low temperature synthesis of radio frequency magnetron sputtered gallium and aluminium co-doped zinc oxide thin films for transparent electrode fabrication

E. Muchuweni, T. S. Sathiaraj, H. Nyakotyo

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Abstract

Gallium and aluminium co-doped zinc oxide (GAZO) thin films were prepared on glass substrates at low temperatures by radio frequency (rf) magnetron sputtering and their physical properties were investigated. All films possessed a hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure with a strong growth orientation along the (0 0 2) c-axis. The (0 0 2) peak intensity and mean crystallite size increased with substrate temperature from room temperature (RT) to 75 °C and then decreased at 100 °C, indicating an improvement in crystallinity up to 75 °C and its deterioration at 100 °C. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs revealed the strong dependency of surface morphology on substrate temperature and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) confirmed the incorporation of Ga and Al into the ZnO films. All films exhibited excellent transmittances between 85 and 90% in the visible region and their optical band gap increased from 3.22 eV to 3.28 eV with substrate temperature. The Urbach energy decreased from 194 meV to 168 meV with increasing substrate temperature, indicating a decrease in structural disorders which was consistent with X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis. Films deposited at 75 °C exhibited the lowest electrical resistivity (2.4 Ωcm) and highest figure of merit (7.5 × 10−5 Ω−1), proving their potential as candidates for transparent electrode fabrication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-577
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume390
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 30 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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