Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Enhanced Sol-Gel Route to Obtain a Highly Transparent and Conductive Aluminum-doped Zinc Oxide Thin Film

Version 1 : Received: 30 April 2019 / Approved: 5 May 2019 / Online: 5 May 2019 (12:49:18 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Nateq, M.H.; Ceccato, R. Enhanced Sol–Gel Route to Obtain a Highly Transparent and Conductive Aluminum-Doped Zinc Oxide Thin Film. Materials 2019, 12, 1744. Nateq, M.H.; Ceccato, R. Enhanced Sol–Gel Route to Obtain a Highly Transparent and Conductive Aluminum-Doped Zinc Oxide Thin Film. Materials 2019, 12, 1744.

Journal reference: Materials 2019, 12, 1744
DOI: 10.3390/ma12111744

Abstract

The electrical and optical properties of sol-gel derived aluminum-doped0 zinc oxide thin films containing 2 at.% Al were investigated considering the modifying effects of 1) increasing the sol H2O content; and 2) thermal treatment procedure with high-temperature approach followed by an additional heat-treatment step under a reducing atmosphere. According to the results obtained via the TG-DTA analysis, FT-IR spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction technique and four-point probe resistivity measurement, it is argued that the sol hydrolysis, decomposition of the deposited gel and crystallization of grains result in grains of larger crystallite size and stronger c-axis preferred orientation with slightly less microstrain in the modified sample. The consequent morphology and grain-boundary characteristics turn out as improved conductivity, implying higher values of concentration and mobility of charge carriers. A detailed investigation on samples optical properties, in terms of analyzing their absorption and dispersion behaviors through the UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy, support our reasoning for the increase of the mobility, and to a lesser extent, the concentration of charge carriers, while causing only a slight degradation of optical transmission. Hence, an enhanced performance as a transparent conducting film is claimed for the modified sample by comparing the figure-of-merit values.

Subject Areas

sol-gel; Al-doped ZnO; hydrolysis; thin film; transparent conductors; resistivity; UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy; figure of merit

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