Origin of high carrier mobility and low residual stress in RF superimposed DC sputtered Al doped ZnO thin film for next generation flexible devices

Naveen Kumar, Ashish Dubey, Behzad Bahrami, S. Venkatesan, Qiquan Qiao, Mukesh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this work, the energy and flux of high energetic ions were controlled by RF superimposed DC sputtering process to increase the grain size and suppress grain boundary potential with minimum residual stress in Al doped ZnO (AZO) thin film. AZO thin films were deposited at different RF/(RF + DC) ratios by keeping total power same and were investigated for their electrical, optical, structural and nanoscale grain boundaries potential. All AZO thin film showed high crystallinity and orientation along (002) with peak shift as RF/(RF + DC) ratio increased from 0.0, pure DC, to 1.0, pure RF. This peak shift was correlated with high residual stress in as-grown thin film. AZO thin film grown at mixed RF/(RF + DC) of 0.75 showed high electron mobility, low residual stress and large crystallite size in comparison to other AZO thin films. The nanoscale grain boundary potential was mapped using Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy in all AZO thin film and it was observed that carrier mobility is controlled not only by grains size but also by grain boundary potential. The XPS analysis confirms the variation in oxygen vacancies and zinc interstitials which explain the origin of low grain boundaries potential and high carrier mobility in AZO thin film deposited at 0.75 RF/(RF + DC) ratio. This study proposes a new way to control the grain size and grain boundary potential to further tune the optoelectronic-mechanical properties of AZO thin films for next generation flexible and optoelectronic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-485
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume436
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aluminium doped zinc oxide (AZO)
  • Grain boundary potential
  • Hall mobility
  • Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM)
  • Residual stress
  • RF/(RF+DC) ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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