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Article

ZnO Thin Films Growth Optimization for Piezoelectric Application

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Laboratorio TASC, Istituto Officina dei Materiali (IOM)-CNR, 34149 Trieste, Italy
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Istituto Nanoscienze-CNR, Via Campi 213/a, 41125 Modena, Italy
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Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche Informatiche Matematiche, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 213/a, 41125 Modena, Italy
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A.P.E. Research srl, Area Science Park, Basovizza, ss14 Km 163.5, 34149 Trieste, Italy
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Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Padova, Via F Marzolo 8, 35131 Padova, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Christopher Oshman, Abhishek Singh Dahiya, Guylaine Poulin-Vittrant and Charles Opoku
Sensors 2021, 21(18), 6114; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186114
Received: 4 August 2021 / Revised: 2 September 2021 / Accepted: 8 September 2021 / Published: 12 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Nano Structures for Sensor and Applications)
The piezoelectric response of ZnO thin films in heterostructure-based devices is strictly related to their structure and morphology. We optimize the fabrication of piezoelectric ZnO to reduce its surface roughness, improving the crystalline quality, taking into consideration the role of the metal electrode underneath. The role of thermal treatments, as well as sputtering gas composition, is investigated by means of atomic force microscopy and x-ray diffraction. The results show an optimal reduction in surface roughness and at the same time a good crystalline quality when 75% O2 is introduced in the sputtering gas and deposition is performed between room temperature and 573 K. Subsequent annealing at 773 K further improves the film quality. The introduction of Ti or Pt as bottom electrode maintains a good surface and crystalline quality. By means of piezoelectric force microscope, we prove a piezoelectric response of the film in accordance with the literature, in spite of the low ZnO thickness and the reduced grain size, with a unipolar orientation and homogenous displacement when deposited on Ti electrode.
Keywords: surface roughness; piezoelectricity; crystallinity; magnetron sputtering; metal electrodes; ZnO; thin films surface roughness; piezoelectricity; crystallinity; magnetron sputtering; metal electrodes; ZnO; thin films
MDPI and ACS Style

Polewczyk, V.; Magrin Maffei, R.; Vinai, G.; Lo Cicero, M.; Prato, S.; Capaldo, P.; Dal Zilio, S.; di Bona, A.; Paolicelli, G.; Mescola, A.; D’Addato, S.; Torelli, P.; Benedetti, S. ZnO Thin Films Growth Optimization for Piezoelectric Application. Sensors 2021, 21, 6114. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186114

AMA Style

Polewczyk V, Magrin Maffei R, Vinai G, Lo Cicero M, Prato S, Capaldo P, Dal Zilio S, di Bona A, Paolicelli G, Mescola A, D’Addato S, Torelli P, Benedetti S. ZnO Thin Films Growth Optimization for Piezoelectric Application. Sensors. 2021; 21(18):6114. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186114

Chicago/Turabian Style

Polewczyk, Vincent, Riccardo Magrin Maffei, Giovanni Vinai, Matteo Lo Cicero, Stefano Prato, Pietro Capaldo, Simone Dal Zilio, Alessandro di Bona, Guido Paolicelli, Andrea Mescola, Sergio D’Addato, Piero Torelli, and Stefania Benedetti. 2021. "ZnO Thin Films Growth Optimization for Piezoelectric Application" Sensors 21, no. 18: 6114. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21186114

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