Atomic layer deposition of tin oxide and zinc tin oxide using tetraethyltin and ozone

Ellis J. Warner, Forrest Johnson, Stephen A. Campbell, Wayne L. Gladfelter

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17 Scopus citations


Silicon or glass substrates exposed to sequential pulses of tetraethyltin (TET) and ozone (O3) were coated with thin films of SnO2. Self-limiting deposition was found using 8 s pulse times, and a uniform thickness per cycle (TPC) of 0.2 nm/cycle was observed in a small, yet reproducible, temperature window from 290 to 320 °C. The as-deposited, stoichiometric SnO2 films were amorphous and transparent above 400 nm. Interspersing pulses of diethylzinc and O3 among the TET:O3 pulses resulted in deposition of zinc tin oxide films, where the fraction of tin, defined as [at. % Sn/(at. % Sn + at. % Zn)], was controlled by the ratio of TET pulses, specifically nTET:(nTET + nDEZ) where nTET and nDEZ are the number of precursor/O3 subcycles within each atomic layer deposition (ALD) supercycle. Based on film thickness and composition measurements, the TET pulse time required to reach saturation in the TPC of SnO2 on ZnO surfaces was increased to >30 s. Under these conditions, film stoichiometry as a function of the TET pulse ratio was consistent with the model devised by Elliott and Nilsen. The as-deposited zinc tin oxide (ZTO) films were amorphous and remained so even after annealing at 450 °C in air for 1 h. The optical bandgap of the transparent ZTO films increased as the tin concentration increased. Hall measurements established that the n-type ZTO carrier concentration was 3 × 1017 and 4 × 1018 cm-3 for fractional tin concentrations of 0.28 and 0.63, respectively. The carrier mobility decreased as the concentration of tin increased. A broken gap pn junction was fabricated using ALD-deposited ZTO and a sputtered layer of cuprous oxide. The junction demonstrated ohmic behavior and low resistance consistent with similar junctions prepared using sputter-deposited ZTO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021517
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Vacuum Society.


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