A structural, optical and electrical comparison between physical vapour deposition and slot-die deposition of Al:ZnO (AZO)

Ewan D. Matheson*, Xinya Xu, Yongtao Qu, Guillaume Zoppi, Vincent Barrioz, Neil S. Beattie

*Corresponding author for this work

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Aluminium-doped zinc oxide (AZO) is a potential low-cost alternative to indium tin oxide (ITO) for application in optoelectronic devices as a transparent conducting thin film. Typically, AZO thin films are deposited using expensive, high vacuum equipment with high energy cost and materials wastage. In this study, slot-die coating was used as an inexpensive alternative to vacuum deposition to form AZO nanoparticle thin films under ambient laboratory conditions. The films were characterised structurally, optically and electrically and compared with a commercially obtained AZO film fabricated using physical vapour deposition (PVD). Structural characterisation of the nanoparticle film shows uniform coverage across the substrate with increased crystal quality following annealing in Ar up to 500 C. The optical properties of the nanoparticle film exhibit a wider band gap than the PVD film, while the high density of grain boundary defects between the nanoparticles inhibits sheet conductivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-335
Number of pages6
JournalMRS Advances
Issue number7
Early online date31 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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