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Effect of solvents and stabilizers on sol–gel deposition of Ga-doped zinc oxide TCO films

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 May 2011

Ido Winer
Chemical Engineering Department, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel
Gennady E. Shter
Chemical Engineering Department, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel
Meirav Mann-Lahav
Chemical Engineering Department, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel
Gideon S. Grader*
Chemical Engineering Department, Technion, Haifa 32000, Israel
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail:
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Gallium-doped zinc oxide spin-coated thin films have been prepared by the sol–gel method. The influence of two solvents, isopropanol and 2-methoxyethanol (2-ME), and two chelating agents, monoethanolamine (MEA) and diethanolamine (DEA), was investigated. X-ray diffraction shows preferential (002) c-axis orientation of the crystallites influenced by the doping content and starting solution composition. Better orientation was obtained with 2-ME as a solvent because of a slower evaporation rate during the spin coating. Better orientation was also obtained using MEA as a stabilizer due to the weaker bonds formed with the Zn2+ ions. Typical film thickness was 550 nm. The transparency of the films was greater than 85% in the entire visible range. A sheet resistance of 68 Ω/□ was obtained for the ZnO film doped with 2 at.% of Ga using 2-ME and MEA as a solvent and stabilizer, respectively. The results show that the denser packing created using a high boiling temperature solvent and a low organic content stabilizer improved the layer’s electrical and optical properties.

Copyright © Materials Research Society 2011

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