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Hydrogen plasma treatment for improved conductivity in amorphous aluminum doped zinc tin oxide thin films
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20.We suspect that the lower Ne of the sample treated at 200 °C is a result of the strongly modified surface of the films after the plasma treatment. The Hall effect measurements assume a homogeneous bulk film, however, the films treated at 200 °C are actually more accurately described as a multilayer composed of a discontinuous layer of Sn metal particles, a porous layer depleted of Sn and the bulk of the film. The plotted values for the sample treated at 200 °C, mainly for the treatment of 5 min, could therefore be influenced by this measurement artifact.
22. M. Albrecht, R. Schewski, K. Irmscher, Z. Galazka, T. Markurt, M. Naumann, T. Schulz, R. Uecker, R. Fornari, S. Meuret, and M. Kociak, J. Appl. Phys. 115, 053504 (2014).
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Improving the conductivity of earth-abundant transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) remains an important challenge that will facilitate the replacement of indium-based TCOs. Here, we show that a hydrogen (H2)-plasma post-deposition treatment improves the conductivity of amorphous aluminum-doped zinc tin oxide while retaining its low optical absorption. We found that the H2-plasma treatment performed at a substrate temperature of 50 °C reduces the resistivity of the films by 57% and increases the absorptance by only 2%. Additionally, the low substrate temperature delays the known formation of tin particles with the plasma and it allows the application of the process to temperature-sensitive substrates.
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