Sol–gel and rf sputtered AZO thin films: analysis of oxidation kinetics in harsh environment
Al-doped ZnO (AZO) thin film, which possess the advantages of low cost, low sheet resistance and high transmittance, are one of the most promising candidates to replace indium tin oxide films as the transparent electrode. However, oxidation causes a substantial increase in the sheet resistance of AZO film after exposing in ambient and especially, damp heat environment. In this work, we compare structural, optical, electrical properties and environmental stability between films prepared by two different methods: sol–gel and rf sputtering. Experimental results indicate that the properties of film can be affected by different deposition method. From the X-ray diffraction analysis, all films have hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure with different preferable orientation in two different methods. Optical transmittance spectra of the AZO films exhibited transparency higher than about 80 % within the visible wavelength region and the optical band gap (Eg) of these films was increased in sputtered film, probably due to the increase of carrier concentration. The better environmental stability was found in AZO film prepared by sputtering method. Improved surface morphology and enhancement of crystal orientation (110) was considered for this improvement.
KeywordsSheet Resistance Electrical Stability High Dense Surface Water Molecule Diffusion Damp Heat
This work was partly supported by the Kyoto University Global COE Program, ‘‘Energy Science in the Age of Global Warming.’’ The authors also gratefully acknowledge the Osaka Municipal Technical Research Institute for the support of thickness and Hall Effect measurement.
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