Micro-ring structured zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films were prepared on glass substrates by spray pyrolysis and their structural, morphological, optical and electrical properties were investigated. X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis revealed the films’ hexagonal wurtzite phase with a preferred (002) grain orientation. The mean crystallite size calculated on the basis of the Debye-Scherrer model was 24 nm and a small dislocation density of 1.7×10−3 nm−2 was obtained, indicating the existence of few lattice defects and good crystallinity. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) micrographs revealed the film's granular nature composed of rod-shaped and spherical nanoparticles which agglomerated to form micro-ring like film clusters on the film surface. The average transmittance in the visible region, optical band gap and Urbach energy were approximately 75–80%, 3.28 eV and 57 meV, respectively. The refractive index and extinction coefficient were determined using Swanepoel's envelope method. Raman spectroscopy revealed the presence of small amounts of residual tensile stress and low density of defects in the ZnO thin films. This was consistent with XRD analysis. A low sheet resistivity (6.03×101 Ωcm) and high figure of merit (4.35×10−6 Ω−1) were obtained for our films indicating their suitability in optoelectronic applications.
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