DOI: 10.3390/app13179611 ISSN:

Study of Structure, Morphology and Optical Properties of Cobalt-Doped and Co/Al-co-Doped ZnO Thin Films Deposited by Electrospray Method

Georgi Marinov, Biliana Georgieva, Marina Vasileva, Tsvetanka Babeva
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • General Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • General Materials Science

A versatile electrospray method was utilized for deposition of thin ZnO films doped with Co (5%) (CZO) or co-doped with Co (2.5%) and Al (2.5%) (CAZO). Thin polycrystalline films with approximate thickness of 200 nm and high transmittance (more than 80%) were obtained. No additional XRD peaks due to dopant impurities or dopant oxides were observed. The cobalt doping led to decrease in grain size and increase in crystallite size from 22 nm to 29 nm in the (101) direction. Smaller changes were observed for the CAZO films. Surface roughness of the films was measured using a 3D optical profiler. Surface roughness of the doped films was from 5 nm to 9 nm higher than that of the pure films. Refractive index, extinction coefficient and thickness of the films were calculated using ellipsometric measurements and were further used for determination of optical band gap and Urbach energy. Refractive index and optical band gap increased with doping from 1.86 and 3.29 eV for pure ZnO to 2.00 and 3.35 eV for CZO and 1.97 and 3.33 eV for CAZO films. Through calculation of Urbach energy (119 meV for pure ZnO, 236 meV for CZO and 138 meV for CAZO), it was demonstrated that doping leads to an increase in structural disorder, most pronounced in the case of Co doping.

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