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Transparent conducting Sn:ZnO films deposited from nanoparticles

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Homogeneous transparent conducting Sn:ZnO films on fused silica substrates were prepared by dip-coating from nanoparticle dispersions, while the nanocrystalline Sn:ZnO particles with different dopant concentrations were synthesized by microwave-assisted non-aqueous sol–gel process using Sn(IV) tert-butoxide and Zn(II) acetate as precursors and benzyl alcohol as solvent. The dopant concentration had a great impact on the electrical properties of the films. A minimum resistivity of 20.3 Ω cm was obtained for a porous Sn:ZnO film with initial Sn concentration of 7.5 mol% after annealing in air and post-annealing in N2 at 600 °C. The resistivity of this porous film could further be reduced to 2.6 and 0.6 Ω cm after densified in Sn:ZnO and Al:ZnO reaction solution, respectively. The average optical transmittance of a 400-nm-thick Sn:ZnO film densified with Sn:ZnO after the two annealing steps was 91%.

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Financial support by ETH Zürich (ETH-07 09-2) is gratefully acknowledged. We also thank Niklaus Kränzlin for helpful discussions regarding the UV–Vis spectra measurements and analyses.

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Correspondence to Markus Niederberger.

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Luo, L., Häfliger, K., Xie, D. et al. Transparent conducting Sn:ZnO films deposited from nanoparticles. J Sol-Gel Sci Technol 65, 28–35 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10971-012-2709-7

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  • Transparent conducting films
  • Sn:ZnO
  • Nanoparticles
  • Microwave-assisted nonaqueous synthesis