Spray Pyrolysed Zinc Oxide Thin Films : Effects of Doping and Ion Beam Irradiation

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Spray Pyrolysed Zinc Oxide Thin Films : Effects of Doping and Ion Beam Irradiation

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Title: Spray Pyrolysed Zinc Oxide Thin Films : Effects of Doping and Ion Beam Irradiation
Author: Ratheesh Kumar,P M; Vijayakumar,K P
Abstract: In recent years scientists have made rapid and significant advances in the field of semiconductor physics. One of the most important fields of current interest in materials science is the fundamental aspects and applications of conducting transparent oxide thin films (TCO). The characteristic properties of such coatings are low electrical resistivity and high transparency in the visible region. The first semitransparent and electrically conducting CdO film was reported as early as in 1907 [1]. Though early work on these films was performed out of purely scientific interest, substantial technological advances in such films were made after 1940. The technological interest in the study of transparent semiconducting films was generated mainly due to the potential applications of these materials both in industry and research. Such films demonstrated their utility as transparent electrical heaters for windscreens in the aircraft industry. However, during the last decade, these conducting transparent films have been widely used in a variety of other applications such as gas sensors [2], solar cells [3], heat reflectors [4], light emitting devices [5] and laser damage resistant coatings in high power laser technology [6]. Just a few materials dominate the current TCO industry and the two dominant markets for TCO’s are in architectural applications and flat panel displays. The architectural use of TCO is for energy efficient windows. Fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO), deposited using a pyrolysis process is the TCO usually finds maximum application. SnO2 also finds application ad coatings for windows, which are efficient in preventing radiative heat loss, due to low emissivity (0.16). Pyrolitic tin oxide is used in PV modules, touch screens and plasma displays. However indium tin oxide (ITO) is mostly used in the majority of flat panel display (FPD) applications. In FPDs, the basic function of ITO is as transparent electrodes. The volume of FPD’s produced, and hence the volume of ITO coatings produced, continues to grow rapidly. But the current increase in the cost of indium and the scarcity of this material created the difficulty in obtaining low cost TCOs. Hence search for alternative TCO materials has been a topic of active research for the last few decades. This resulted in the development of binary materials like ZnO, SnO2, CdO and ternary materials like II Zn2SnO4, CdSb2O6:Y, ZnSO3, GaInO3 etc. The use of multicomponent oxide materials makes it possible to have TCO films suitable for specialized applications because by altering their chemical compositions, one can control the electrical, optical, chemical and physical properties. But the advantages of using binary materials are the easiness to control the chemical compositions and depositions conditions. Recently, there were reports claiming the deposition of CdO:In films with a resistivity of the order of 10-5 ohm cm for flat panel displays and solar cells. However they find limited use because of Cd-Toxicity. In this regard, ZnO films developed in 1980s, are very useful as these use Zn, an abundant, inexpensive and nontoxic material. Resistivity of this material is still not very low, but can be reduced through doping with group-III elements like In, Al or Ga or with F [6]. Hence there is a great interest in ZnO as an alternative of ITO. In the present study, we prepared and characterized transparent and conducting ZnO thin films, using a cost effective technique viz Chemical Spray Pyrolysis (CSP). This technique is also suitable for large area film deposition. It involves spraying a solution, (usually aqueous) containing soluble salts of the constituents of the desired compound, onto a heated substrate.
URI: http://dyuthi.cusat.ac.in/purl/662
Date: 2007-01


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