Optical and structural characteristics of yttrium doped ZnO films using sol–gel technology
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Yttrium-doped ZnO gel was spin-coated on the SiO2/Si substrate. The as-prepared ZnO:Y (YZO) thin films then underwent a rapid thermal annealing (RTA) process conducted at various temperatures. The structural and photoluminescence characteristics of the YZO films were discussed thereafter. Our results indicated that the grain size of YZO thin films being treated with various annealing temperatures became smaller as compared to the ones without being doped with yttrium. Furthermore, unlike other ZnO films, the grains of YZO thin films appeared to separate from one another rather than aggregating together as both types of the films were annealed under the same environment. The photoluminescence characteristic measured showed that the UV emission was the only radiation obtained. However, the UV emission intensity of YZO thin film was much stronger than that of the ZnO thin film after annealing them with the same condition. It was also found that the intensity increased with an increase in the annealing temperature, which was caused by the exciton generated and the texture surface of the YZO thin film.