Evaluation of the optoelectronic properties and corrosion behavior of Al2O3-doped ZnO films prepared by dc pulsed magnetron sputtering
The main requirements for transparent conducting oxide (TCO) films acting as electrodes are a high transmission rate in the visible spectral region and low resistivity.
However, in many cases, tolerance to temperature and humidity exposure is also an important requirement to be fulfilled by the TCOs to assure proper operation and durability. Besides improving current encapsulation methods, the corrosion resistance of the developed TCOs must also be enhanced to warrant the performance of optoelectronic devices.
In this paper the performance of aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) films deposited by pulsed dc magnetron sputtering has been studied. Structure, optical transmittance/reflectance, electrical properties (resistivity, carrier concentration and mobility) and corrosion resistance of the developed coatings have been analyzed as a function of the doping of the target and the coating thickness. Films grown from a 2.0 wt% Al2O3 target with a thickness of approximately 1 mu m showed a very low resistivity of 6.54 x 10(-4) Omega cm and a high optical transmittance in the visible range of 84%. Corrosion studies of the developed samples have shown very low corrosion currents (nanoamperes), very high corrosion resistances (in the order of 10(7) Omega) and very high electrochemical stability, indicating no tendency for electrochemical corrosion degradation.