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Aluminum doped Zinc oxide (AZO) is a promising transparent conductor for solar cells, displays and touch-screen technologies. The resistivity of AZO is typically improved by thermal annealing at temperatures not suitable for plastic substrates. Here we present a non-thermal route to improve the electrical and structural properties of AZO by irradiating the TCO films with O+ or Ar+ ion beams (30–350 keV, 3 × 1015–3 × 1016 ions/cm2) after the deposition on glass and flexible polyethylene naphthalate (PEN). X-ray diffraction, optical absorption, electrical measurements, Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry and Atomic Force Microscopy evidenced an increase of the crystalline grain size and a complete relief of the lattice strain upon ion beam irradiation. Indeed, the resistivity of thin AZO films irradiated at room temperature decreased of two orders of magnitude, similarly to a thermal annealing at 400 °C. We also …
Publication date: 
1 Feb 2017

Stefano Boscarino, Giacomo Torrisi, Isodiana Crupi, Alessandra Alberti, Salvatore Mirabella, Francesco Ruffino, Antonio Terrasi

Biblio References: 
Volume: 392 Pages: 14-20
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms