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Open AccessArticle

Carrier Compensation Induced by Thermal Annealing in Al-Doped ZnO Films

Research Center for Photovoltaics, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Central 2, Umezono 1-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan
School of Engineering, Tokai University, 4-1-1, Kitakaname, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa 259-1292, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrea Li Bassi and Carlo S. Casari
Materials 2017, 10(2), 141;
Received: 26 December 2016 / Revised: 23 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 8 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Transparent Conducting Materials)
This study investigated carrier compensation induced by thermal annealing in sputtered ZnO:Al (Al2O3: 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 wt %) films. The films were post-annealed in a N2 atmosphere at low (1 × 10−23 atm) and high (1 × 10−4 atm) oxygen partial pressures (PO2). In ZnO:Al films with low Al contents (i.e., 0.25 wt %), the carrier density (n) began to decrease at annealing temperatures (Ta) of 600 °C at low PO2. At higher PO2 and/or Al contents, n values began to decrease significantly at lower Ta (ca. 400 °C). In addition, Zn became desorbed from the films during heating in a high vacuum (i.e., <1 × 107 Pa). These results suggest the following: (i) Zn interstitials and Zn vacancies are created in the ZnO lattice during post-annealing treatments, thereby leading to carrier compensation by acceptor-type Zn vacancies; (ii) The compensation behavior is significantly enhanced for ZnO:Al films with high Al contents. View Full-Text
Keywords: transparent conducting oxides; ZnO; doping; carrier compensation; mobility transparent conducting oxides; ZnO; doping; carrier compensation; mobility
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MDPI and ACS Style

Koida, T.; Kaneko, T.; Shibata, H. Carrier Compensation Induced by Thermal Annealing in Al-Doped ZnO Films. Materials 2017, 10, 141.

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