Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry

, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 3217–3224 | Cite as

Physical properties of metal-doped ZnO thin films prepared by RF magnetron sputtering at room temperature

  • Hayet MahdhiEmail author
  • Z. Ben Ayadi
  • K. Djessas
Original Paper


Transparent thin films of pure ZnO, Ca-doped ZnO (CZO), and Ga-doped ZnO (GZO) were deposited on glass by RF magnetron sputtering. The influence of calcium and gallium concentrations in zinc oxide (ZnO) films on structural, morphology, electrical, and optical properties of thin films were studied. XRD results show that the obtained films were with a hexagonal wurtzite structure and preferentially oriented perpendicular to the substrate surface. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) evidenced that the type of doping modifies the microstructure of thin films. The as-deposited films show a high transmittance in the visible range over 85%. The shift of the optical band gap of ZnO films with increasing Ca and Ga content suggests the enhancement of carrier concentration. At Ga-doped ZnO, the film has lowest resistivity of 3.8 × 10−3 cm, while the carrier concentration is highest (2.2 × 1020 cm−3).


Ga-doped ZnO Ca-doped ZnO Magnetron sputtering Transparent conductive oxide Electrical and optical properties 



  1. 1.
    Tonooka K, Bando H, Aiura Y (2003) Proceedings of the 3rd international symposium on transparent oxide thin films for electronics and optics. Thin Solid Films 445(2):155–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Yao KX, Zeng HC (2007) ZnO/PVP nanocomposite spheres with two hemispheres. J Phys Chem C 111(36):13301–13308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mei ZX, Du XL (2005) Controlled growth of Zn-polar ZnO epitaxial film by nitridation of sapphire substrate. Appl Phys Lett 86(11):112111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gu XQ, Zhu LP, Cao L, Ye ZZ, He HP, Chu PK (2011) Optical and electrical properties of ZnO:Al thin films synthesized by low-pressure pulsed laser deposition. Mater Sci Semicond Process 14(1):48–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lung C, Marconi D, Pop A (2016) Characterization of the aluminum concentration upon the properties of aluminum zinc oxide thin films. Anal Lett 49(8):1278–1288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Minami T, Ida S, Miyata T, Minamino Y (2003) Transparent conducting ZnO thin films deposited by vacuum arc plasma evaporation. Thin Solid Films 445(2):268–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Prasada Rao T, Santhosh MC (2010) Physical properties of Ga-doped ZnO thin films by spray pyrolysis. J Alloys Compd 502(2):788–793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Mahdhi H, Ben Ayadi Z, Alaya S, Gauffier JL, Djessas K (2014) The effects of dopant concentration and deposition temperature on the structural, optical and electrical properties of Ga-doped ZnO thin films. Superlattice Microst 72:60–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mahdhi H, Gauffier JL, Djessas K, Ben Ayadi Z (2017) Structural, optical and electrical properties of transparent conductive ZnO:Ca films prepared by rf magnetron sputtering from aerogel nanopowders. Optik – Int J Light Electron Optics 137:156–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bougrine A, El Hichou A, Addou M, Ebothe J, Kachouane A, Troyon M (2003) Structural, optical and cathodoluminescence characteristics of undoped and tin-doped ZnO thin films prepared by spray pyrolysis. Mater Chem Phys 80(2):438–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Villanueva YY, Ren Liu D, Cheng PT (2006) Pulsed laser deposition of zinc oxide. Thin Solid Films 501(1–2):366–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brien SO, Koh LHK, Crean GM (2008) ZnO thin films prepared by a single step sol–gel process. Thin Solid Films 516(7):1391–1395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mahdhi H, Djessas K, Ben Ayadi Z (2018) Synthesis and characteristics of Ca-doped ZnO thin films by rf magnetron sputtering at low temperature. Mater Lett 214:10–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mahdhi H, Ben Ayadi Z, Gauffier JL, Djessas K, Alaya S (2015) Effect of sputtering power on the electrical and optical properties of Ca-doped ZnO thin films sputtered from nanopowders compacted target. Opt Mater 45:97–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    El Mir L, Ben Ayadi Z, Saadoun M, Djessas K, Alaya S (2007) Preparation and characterization of n-type conductive (Al, Co) co-doped ZnO thin films deposited by sputtering from aerogel nanopowders. Appl Surf Sci 254(2):570–573CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Aygun G, Yildiz I (2009) Interfacial and structural properties of sputtered HfO2 layers. J Appl Phys 106(1):014312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bououdina M, Omri K, El-Hilo M, El Amiri A, Lemine OM, El Mir L (2014) Structural and magnetic properties of Mn-doped ZnO nanocrystals. Phys E Low-dimensional Syst Nanostruct 56:107–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ben Ayadi Z, El Mir L, Djessas K, Alaya S (2007) Electrical and optical properties of aluminum-doped zinc oxide sputtered from an aerogel nanopowder target. Nanotechnology 18(44):445702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Omri K, Najeh I, El Mir L (2014) Effects of temperature on the optical and electrical properties of ZnO nanoparticles synthesized by sol–gel method. Microelectron Eng 128:53–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Slama R, Ghribi F, Houas A, El Mir L (2011) Visible photocatalytic properties of vanadium doped zinc oxide aerogel nanopowder. Thin Solid Films 519(17):5792–5795CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    MCS T, Rao P (2009) Effect of thickness on structural, optical and electrical properties of nanostructured ZnO thin films by spray pyrolysis. Appl Surf Sci 255:4579–4584CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Puchert MK, Timbrell PY, Lamb RN (1996) Post deposition annealing of radio frequency magnetron sputtered ZnO films. J Vac Sci Technol A 14(4):2220–2230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cebulla R, Wendt R, Ellmer K (1998) Al-doped zinc oxide films deposited by simultaneous rf and dc excitation of a magnetron plasma: relationships between plasma parameters and structural and electrical film properties. J Appl Phys 83:1087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mahdhi H, Ben Ayadi Z, El Mir L, Djessas K, Alaya S (2011) Elaboration and characterization of Ca doped ZnO films prepared by rf-magnetron sputtering at room temperature. J Sens Lett 9(6):2150–2153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mandal S, Singha RK, Dhar A, Ray SK (2008) Optical and structural characteristics of ZnO thin films grown by rf magnetron sputtering. Mater Res Bull 43(2):244–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Suchea M, Christoulakis S, Katsarakis N, Kitsopoulos T, Kiriakidis G (2007) Comparative study of zinc oxide and aluminum doped zinc oxide transparent thin films grown by direct current magnetron sputtering. Thin Solid Films 515(16):6562–6566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Song D, Aberle AG, Xia J (2002) Optimization of ZnO: Al films by change of sputter gas pressure for solar cell application. Appl Surf Sci 195(1-4):291–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    I gasaki Y, Saito H (1991) Substrate temperature dependence of electrical properties of ZnO:Al epitaxial films on sapphire (12̄10). J Appl Phys 69(4):2190–2195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Musat V, Teixeira B, Fortunato E, Monteiro RCC, Vilarinho P (2004) Al-doped ZnO thin films by sol–gel method. Surf Coat Technol 180-181:659–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Physics of Materials and Nanomaterials applied at Environment (LaPhyMNE)Faculty of Sciences in GabesErriadh Manara ZrigTunisia
  2. 2.Physics Department, Faculty of ScienceJazan UniversityJazanSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Processes, Materials and Solar Energy, Laboratory (PROMES-CNRS)University of PerpignanPerpignan CedexFrance

Personalised recommendations