Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 293–304 | Cite as

Rare earth Eu3+ co-doped AZO thin films prepared by nebulizer spray pyrolysis technique for optoelectronics

  • V. Anand
  • A. Sakthivelu
  • K. Deva Arun Kumar
  • S. Valanarasu
  • V. Ganesh
  • Mohd Shkir
  • S. AlFaify
  • H. Algarni
Original Paper: Functional coatings, thin films and membranes (including deposition techniques)


Rare earth element (i.e.) europium co-doped aluminum zinc oxide (Eu:AZO) thin films were deposited on microscope glass slides by nebulizer spray pyrolysis with different Eu-doping concentrations (0, 0.5, 1, and 1.5%). The deposited films were investigated using X-ray diffraction, AFM, EDAX, FT-Raman, UV–visible, PL, and Hall effect measurements. X-ray confirmed the incorporation of aluminum and europium ions into the ZnO structure. All films have polycrystalline nature with hexagonal wurtzite structure at (002) direction. Topological depictions exhibited minimum surface roughness and low film thickness for pristine AZO thin film. EDAX study authorizes the existence of Zn, O, Al, and Eu in Eu: AZO thin films. Raman spectra exhibited the characteristic of ZnO-wurtzite structure (E2-high) mode at 447 cm−1. The deposited film showed high optical transmittance of ~90% in visible region, and the direct energy gap was around 3.30 eV for pristine AZO thin film. The PL spectra emitted a powerful UV emission situated at 388 nm, and it indicates that the film has good optical quality. The obtained large carrier concentration and less resistivity values are 4.42 × 1021 cm−3 and 3.95 × 10−4 Ω cm, respectively, for 1.5% Eu-doped AZO thin film. The calculated figure of merit value is 17.29 × 10−3 (Ω/sq)−1, which is more suitable for the optoelectronic device.


Rare earth Eu:AZO thin film Nebulizer spray pyrolysis Optoelectronic application 



MS and HA extend their appreciation to the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Khalid University for funding this work through Research Groups Program under Grant No. R.G.P. 2/37/39.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics DepartmentVKS College of Engineering and TechnologyKarurIndia
  2. 2.PG and Research Department of PhysicsPeriyar E.V.R. CollegeTrichyIndia
  3. 3.PG and Research Department of PhysicsArul Anandar College-KarumathurMaduraiIndia
  4. 4.Advanced Functional Materials & Optoelectronic Laboratory (AFMOL), Department of Physics, Faculty of ScienceKing Khalid UniversityAbhaSaudi Arabia

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