Effect of the Incorporation of Titanium on the Optical Properties of ZnO Thin Films: From Doping to Mixed Oxide Formation

Miriam Yuste, Ramon Escobar-Galindo, Noelia Benito, Carlos Palacio, Oscar Martínez, Jose Albella, Olga Sánchez
2019 Coatings  
ZnO films with Ti atoms incorporated (TZO) in a wide range (0–18 at.%) have been grown by reactive co-sputtering on silicon and glass substrates. The influence of the titanium incorporation in the ZnO matrix on the structural and optical characteristics of the samples has been determined by Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results indicate that the samples with low Ti content (<4 at.%) exhibit a wurtzite-like
more » ... ructure, with the Ti4+ ions substitutionally incorporated into the ZnO structure, forming Ti-doped ZnO films. In particular, a very low concentration of Ti (<0.9 at.%) leads to a significant increase of the crystallinity of the TZO samples. Higher Ti contents give rise to a progressive amorphization of the wurtzite-like structure, so samples with high Ti content (≥18 at.%) display an amorphous structure, indicating in the XPS analysis, a predominance of Ti–O–Zn mixed oxides. The energy gap obtained from absorption spectrophotometry increases from 3.2 eV for pure ZnO films to 3.6 eV for those with the highest Ti content. Ti incorporation in the ZnO samples <0.9 at.% raises both the blue (380 nm) and green (approx. 550 nm) bands of the photoluminescence (PL) emission, thereby indicating a significant improvement of the PL efficiency of the samples.
doi:10.3390/coatings9030180 fatcat:nutqvtj2hvfqzo44iveycp4c4i