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Electrical Properties of Low-Temperature Processed Sn-Doped In2O3 Thin Films: The Role of Microstructure and Oxygen Content and the Potential of Defect Modulation Doping

1
Electronic Structure of Materials, Department of Materials and Earth Sciences, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Otto-Berndt-Straße 3, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
2
Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, LMGP, 38 000 Grenoble, France
3
Structural Research, Department of Materials and Earth Sciences, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Otto-Berndt-Straße 3, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(14), 2232; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12142232
Received: 22 April 2019 / Revised: 2 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transparent Conductive Films and Their Applications)
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Abstract

Low-temperature-processed ITO thin films offer the potential of overcoming the doping limit by suppressing the equilibrium of compensating oxygen interstitial defects. To elucidate this potential, electrical properties of Sn-doped In 2 O 3 (ITO) thin films are studied in dependence on film thickness. In-operando conductivity and Hall effect measurements during annealing of room-temperature-deposited films, together with different film thickness in different environments, allow to discriminate between the effects of crystallization, grain growth, donor activation and oxygen diffusion on carrier concentrations and mobilities. At 200 C , a control of carrier concentration by oxygen incorporation or extraction is only dominant for very thin films. The electrical properties of thicker films deposited at room temperature are mostly affected by the grain size. The remaining diffusivity of compensating oxygen defects at 200 C is sufficient to screen the high Fermi level induced by deposition of Al 2 O 3 using atomic layer deposition (ALD), which disables the use of defect modulation doping at this temperature. The results indicate that achieving higher carrier concentrations in ITO thin films requires a control of the oxygen pressure during deposition in combination with seed layers to enhance crystallinity or the use of near room temperature ALD. View Full-Text
Keywords: ITO; electrical properties; doping limits; modulation doping; thickness dependence; low-temperature-deposition ITO; electrical properties; doping limits; modulation doping; thickness dependence; low-temperature-deposition
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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

Deyu, G.K.; Hunka, J.; Roussel, H.; Brötz, J.; Bellet, D.; Klein, A. Electrical Properties of Low-Temperature Processed Sn-Doped In2O3 Thin Films: The Role of Microstructure and Oxygen Content and the Potential of Defect Modulation Doping. Materials 2019, 12, 2232.

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