High energy electron irradiation effects on Ga-doped ZnO thin films for optoelectronic space applications
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Gallium-doped ZnO (GZO) thin films of thickness 394 nm were prepared by a simple, cost-effective sol–gel spin coating method. The effect of 8 MeV electron beam irradiation with different irradiation doses ranging from 0 to 10 kGy on the structural, optical and electrical properties was investigated. Electron irradiation influences the changes in the structural properties and surface morphology of GZO thin films. X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the polycrystalline nature of the GZO films is unaffected by the high energy electron irradiation. The grain size and the surface roughness were found maximum for the GZO film irradiated with 10 kGy electron dosage. The average transmittance of GZO thin films decreased after electron irradiation. The optical band gap of Ga-doped ZnO films was decreased with the increase in the electron dosage. The electrical resistivity of GZO films decreased from 4.83 × 10−3 to 8.725 × 10−4 Ω cm, when the electron dosage was increased from 0 to 10 kGy. The variation in the optical and electrical properties in the Ga-doped ZnO thin films due to electron beam irradiation in the present study is useful in deciding their compatibility in optoelectronic device applications in electron radiation environment.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the Coordinator, DST FIST, UGC SAP, Department of Physics, Mangalore University for providing facilities for the characterization of thin films and MICROTRON CENTRE, Mangalore University for providing the facilities for irradiation.