Annealing Temperature, Time and Thickness Dependencies in (TCO) SnO2 Thin Films Grown by Spray Pyrolysis Technique


Tin oxide thin films were prepared by spray pyrolysis method using SnCl2.2H2O as starting precursor and deposited on glass substrate. Three groups of samples with different preparation conditions (temperature, time and thickness) were synthetized. The samples were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), UV-Visible Spectroscopy and Van der Pauw four-point electrical measurements. The grain size in the samples changes from 80 to 500 nm. Optical and electrical parameters were measured or calculated, such as: band gap, refractive index, sheet resistance, transmittance spectrum and figure of merit. Film thicknesses were obtained from fringes features in the transmittance spectra with a variation from 76 to 761 nm. A mechanism of transformation from tin dichloride to tin oxide is proposed and discussed; additionally the visual yellow color of some samples, related with a low transparency, is associated to the amount of abhurite or tin hydroxide complex coexisting with tin oxide. The figure of merit showed that 500 °C, 42 sprays and 1 hour of annealing time were the best conditions in the preparation of SnO2 with TCO properties.

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The authors are grateful to SENACYT (projects FID 05–061 and APY-GC-10-046A) for financial support. All the authors thank to SmithSonian Tropical Research Institute and in special to Jorge Ceballos who helped us measuring, analyzing and discussing the morphological characterization (SEM). Our sincere thank to the Institute of Materials Jean Rouxel for recording the X-ray diffractograms.

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Correspondence to Alfredo Campos.

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Campos, A., Watson, A., Abrego, I. et al. Annealing Temperature, Time and Thickness Dependencies in (TCO) SnO2 Thin Films Grown by Spray Pyrolysis Technique. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1449, 47–52 (2012).

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