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Open AccessArticle

Using Oxygen Plasma Pretreatment to Enhance the Properties of F-Doped ZnO Films Prepared on Polyimide Substrates

School of Information Engineering, Jimei University, Xiamen 361021, China
Graduate Institute of Optoelectronic Engineering, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung 811, Taiwan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(9), 1501;
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 12 August 2018 / Accepted: 21 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from IEEE ICASI 2018)
In this study, a radio frequency magnetron sputtering process was used to deposit F-doped ZnO (FZO) films on polyimide (PI) substrates. The thermal expansion effect of PI substrates induces distortion and bending, causing FZO films to peel and their electrical properties and crystallinity to deteriorate. To address these shortcomings, oxygen (O2) plasma was used to pretreat the surface of PI substrates using a plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition system before the FZO films were deposited. The effects of O2 plasma pretreatment time on the surface water contact angle, surface morphologies, and optical properties of the PI substrates were investigated. As the pretreatment time increased, so did the roughness of the PI substrates. After the FZO films had been deposited on the PI substrates, variations in the surface morphologies, crystalline structure, composition, electrical properties, and optical properties were investigated as a function of the O2 plasma pretreatment time. When this was 30 s, the FZO films had optimal optical and electrical properties. The resistivity was 3.153 × 10−3 Ω-cm, and the transmittance ratios of all films were greater than 90%. The X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy spectra of the FZO films, particularly the peaks for O1s, Zn 2p1/2, and Zn 2p3/2, were determined for films with O2 plasma pretreatment times of 0 and 30 s. Finally, a HCl solution was used to etch the surfaces of the deposited FZO films, and silicon-based thin-film solar cells were fabricated on the FZO/PI substrates. The effect of O2-plasma pretreatment time on the properties of the fabricated solar cells is thoroughly discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: oxygen (O2) plasma; pretreatment; F-doped ZnO; polyimide (PI) substrate oxygen (O2) plasma; pretreatment; F-doped ZnO; polyimide (PI) substrate
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Chen, C.-C.; Wang, F.-H.; Chang, S.-C.; Yang, C.-F. Using Oxygen Plasma Pretreatment to Enhance the Properties of F-Doped ZnO Films Prepared on Polyimide Substrates. Materials 2018, 11, 1501.

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