Structural and plasmonic characteristics of sputtered SnO2:Sb and ZnO:Al thin films as a function of their thickness
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Heavily doped metal oxide semiconductors are being developed as thin film transparent electrodes for many applications and their deposition at low substrate temperature can extend the use on heat sensitive devices. The structural and electro-optical characteristics of such metal oxide coatings are tightly related and depend on the specific deposition parameters apart from the material composition. In this work, SnO2:Sb (ATO) and ZnO:Al (AZO) thin films have been prepared by sputtering at room temperature on glass substrates, changing the deposition time to obtain various layer thicknesses from 0.2 to 0.9 μm; and they have been analyzed by X-ray diffraction, spectrophotometry, and Hall-effect measurements. ATO samples crystallize in the tetragonal structure with mean crystallite size increasing from 8 to 20 nm when the film thickness grows. The comparison of Hall mobility and optical mobility values indicates a significant contribution of grain boundary scattering for these ATO layers. Otherwise, AZO films show larger crystallites (21–27 nm) and a strong preferential orientation for analogous thickness increment, resulting in a lower contribution of the grain boundary scattering to the overall Hall mobility. The in-grain mobility for each sample is also related to the respective crystallite size and carrier concentration values.
KeywordsSnO2 Crystallite Size Carrier Concentration Hall Mobility Texture Coefficient
This work has been supported by the Madrid Community through the OMEGA-CM program, ref. S2013/MAE-2835.