Zinc and tin oxides are both earth-abundant materials with demonstrated applicability as electrodes in several optoelectronic devices. The presence of grain boundaries in these polycrystalline films generally limits the electron mobility. By a combinatorial study of ZnO and SnO2, a transparent conducting amorphous zinc tin oxide (ZTO) electrode, free of grain boundaries, with a dense (void-free) microstructure has been developed. We show how tuning the stoichiometry (Zn4.5Sn30.2O65.3) and film’s microstructure during sputtering deposition, allows achieving electron mobilities up to 25 cm2/Vs and free carrier concentrations of ~ 7 x 1019 cm-3. The effects of post-deposition thermal treatments are furthermore studied. The ZTO films keep their dense amorphous microstructure upon annealing up to 500°C, as confirmed by cross-section TEM and XRD, while presenting a clear improvement in electron mobility up to 35 cm2/Vs when annealed in oxygen-rich atmospheres.
Monica Morales-Masis, Esteban Rucavado, Quentin Jeangros, Federica Landuchi, Aïcha Hessler-Wyser, and Christophe Ballif, "High performance amorphous Zn-Sn-O: impact of composition, microstructure, and thermal treatments in the optoelectronic properties," Proc. SPIE 10105, Oxide-based Materials and Devices VIII, 101050D (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 30, 2017; Published: 24 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252603.
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