Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Study on Tuning the Electrical and Optical Properties of Zr-Doped ZnO Thin Films Grown by Atomic Layer Deposition
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DepartmentCiencia de los Materiales e Ingeniería Metalúrgica y Química Inorgánica; Física de la Materia Condensada
This work reports the ellipsometry analysis of atomic layer deposition (ALD) films of ZnO doped with Zr to determine parameters like free carrier concentration and mobility. Thin films of zinc oxide (ZnO) and Zr-doped ZnO of thickness similar to 100 nm were prepared by atomic layer deposition on sapphire, SiO2/Si(100), and Si(100) substrates. Variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry was used to study their optical properties in the 0.5-3.5 eV spectral range. The optical constants were accurately obtained using a model that combines Drude and Tauc-Lorentz oscillators with Bruggeman effective medium approximations, allowing the inclusion of a roughness layer in the optical model. The effect of Zr doping (ca. 1.9- 4.4 atom %) was then investigated in both as- prepared samples and samples annealed in the temperature range of 100-300 degrees C. All of the films exhibited good optical transparency (ca. 70-90% in the visible region). For doping levels below 2.7 atom %, the real part of the dielectric permittivity reveals a semiconductor-to-metal transition in the near-infrared (NIR) region, as the permittivity goes from positive to negative. Besides, the plasma energy increases with increasing Zr concentration, and both resistivity and carrier concentration exhibit slightly parabolic behaviors, with a minimum of similar to 1.5 x 10(-3) Omega cm and a maximum of 2.4 x 10(20) cm(-3), respectively, at the same critical Zr concentration (2.7 atom %). In contrast, the carrier mobility decreases rapidly from 76.0 to 19.2 cm(2)/(V s) with increasing Zr content, while conductivities and carrier mobilities worsen when the annealing temperature increases, probably due to the segregation of ZnO crystals. Finally, the optical band gap is very stable, revealing its interesting independence of substrate composition and annealing temperature, as it collapses to a single master curve when band gap energy is plotted versus free carrier concentration, following the Burstein-Moss effect. Overall, the Zr-doped ZnO films studied here would be a highly desirable system for developing thermally stable transparent conductive oxides (TCOs).