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ZnO:Al films prepared by inline DC magnetron sputtering

: Bingel, Astrid; Füchsel, Kevin; Kaiser, Norbert; Tünnermann, Andreas


Advanced Optical Technologies 3 (2014), No.1, pp.103-111
ISSN: 2192-8584
ISSN: 2192-8576
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IOF ()
aluminum-doped zinc oxide films; optimization of electrical and optical properties; postdeposition annealing; pulsed DC magnetron sputtering; transparent conductive oxides

Aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) is one of the most promising transparent conductive oxide (TCO) materials that can substitute the high-quality but costly indium tin oxide (ITO). To ensure high-quality films as well as moderate production costs, inline DC magnetron sputtering was chosen to deposit thin AZO films. The influence of sputter gas pressure, substrate temperature, and film thickness on the electrical, optical, and structural properties was analyzed. The resistivity reaches a minimum of 1.3×10-5 omega m at around 1 Pa for a substrate temperature of 90°C. A maximum conductivity was obtained by increasing the substrate temperature to 160°C. An annealing step after deposition led to a further decrease in resistivity to a value of 5.3×10-6 omega m in a 200 nm thin film. At the same time, the optical performance could be improved. Additionally, simulations of the transmittance and reflectance spectra were carried out to compare carrier concentration and mobility determined by optical techniques with those from Hall measurements.