Optical, electrical, and electrochemical behavior of p-type nanostructured SnO2:Ni (NTO) thin films
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The physical and electrochemical properties of sol-gel synthesized nickel-doped tin oxide (NTO) thin films were investigated. The X-ray diffraction results showed that NTO samples exhibited a tetragonal structure. The average crystallite size and the unit cell volume of the films were reduced by Ni increment, while the stacking fault probability was increased. Furthermore, the field-emission scanning electron microscopy images clearly displayed that the worm-like surface morphology of the SnO2 thin films was altered to the spherical feature in 3 and 10 mol% NTO samples. Moreover, by virtue of Ni incorporation, the average transparency of the SnO2 thin films rose up from 67 to 85% in the visible region; also, the optical band gap of the SnO2 sample (3.97 eV) increased and the thin film with 3 mol% dopant concentration showed a maximum value of 4.22 eV. The blue/green emission intensities of photoluminescence spectra of SnO2 thin film changed via Ni doping. The Hall effect measurements revealed that by Ni addition, the electrical conductivity of tin oxide thin films altered from n- to p-type and the carrier concentration of the films decreased due to the role of Ni2+ ions which act as electron acceptors in NTO films. In contrast, 20 mol% Ni-doped sample had the highest mobility about 9.65 cm2 (V s)−1. In addition, the cyclic voltammogram of NTO thin films in KOH electrolyte indicated the charge storage capacity and the surface total charge density of SnO2 thin films enhanced via Ni doping. Moreover, the diffusion constant of the samples increased from 2 × 10−15 to 6.5 × 10−15 cm2 s−1 for undoped and 5 mol% dopant concentration. The electrochemical impedance spectroscopy of the NTO thin films in two different potentials showed the different electrochemical behaviors of n- and p-type thin films. It revealed that the 20 mol% NTO thin film had maximum charge transfer at lower applied potential.
KeywordsNTO thin films p-Type conductivity Cyclic voltammetry Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy Photoluminescence
The partial support of this work by the Research Council of the University of Guilan is gratefully acknowledged.
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