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Coatings 2014, 4(4), 732-746; doi:10.3390/coatings4040732

Electrical and Optical Properties of Fluorine Doped Tin Oxide Thin Films Prepared by Magnetron Sputtering

1
Surface Engineering Group, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5GD, UK
2
Trametox Ltd., Warrington, Cheshire WA4 6HA, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 September 2014 / Revised: 15 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 October 2014 / Published: 30 October 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Thin Film Materials for Photovoltaic Applications)
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Abstract

Fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) coatings have been prepared using the mid-frequency pulsed DC closed field unbalanced magnetron sputtering technique in an Ar/O2 atmosphere using blends of tin oxide and tin fluoride powder formed into targets. FTO coatings were deposited with a thickness of 400 nm on glass substrates. No post-deposition annealing treatments were carried out. The effects of the chemical composition on the structural (phase, grain size), optical (transmission, optical band-gap) and electrical (resistivity, charge carrier, mobility) properties of the thin films were investigated. Depositing FTO by magnetron sputtering is an environmentally friendly technique and the use of loosely packed blended powder targets gives an efficient means of screening candidate compositions, which also provides a low cost operation. The best film characteristics were achieved using a mass ratio of 12% SnF2 to 88% SnO2 in the target. The thin film produced was polycrystalline with a tetragonal crystal structure. The optimized conditions resulted in a thin film with average visible transmittance of 83% and optical band-gap of 3.80 eV, resistivity of 6.71 × 10−3 Ω·cm, a carrier concentration (Nd) of 1.46 × 1020 cm−3 and a mobility of 15 cm2/Vs. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluorine doped tin oxide; oxide powder target; pulsed DC magnetron sputtering; thin films; transparent conductive oxide; photovoltaic cells fluorine doped tin oxide; oxide powder target; pulsed DC magnetron sputtering; thin films; transparent conductive oxide; photovoltaic cells
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Banyamin, Z.Y.; Kelly, P.J.; West, G.; Boardman, J. Electrical and Optical Properties of Fluorine Doped Tin Oxide Thin Films Prepared by Magnetron Sputtering. Coatings 2014, 4, 732-746.

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