Transparent conductors play an increasingly important role in a number of semiconductor technologies. This paper reports on the defects and properties of Cadmium Oxide, a transparent conducting oxide which can be potentially used for full spectrum photovoltaics. We carried out a systematic investigation on the effects of defects in CdO thin films undoped and intentionally doped with In and Ga under different deposition and annealing conditions. We found that at low growth temperatures (<200 °C), sputter deposition tends to trap both oxygen vacancies and compensating defects in the CdO film resulting in materials with high electron concentration of ∼2 × 1020/cm3 and mobility in the range of 40-100 cm2/V s. Thermal annealing experiments in different ambients revealed that the dominating defects in sputtered CdO films are oxygen vacancies. Oxygen rich CdO films grown by sputtering with increasing O2 partial pressure in the sputter gas mixture results in films with resistivity from ∼4 × 10-4 to >1 Ω cm due to incorporation of excess O in the form of O-related acceptor defects, likely to be O interstitials. Intentional doping with In and Ga donors leads to an increase of both the electron concentration and the mobility. With proper doping CdO films with electron concentration of more than 1021cm-3 and electron mobility higher than 120 cm2/V s can be achieved. Thermal annealing of doped CdO films in N2 ambient can further improve the electrical properties by removing native acceptors and improving film crystallinity. Furthermore, the unique doping behavior and electrical properties of CdO were explored via simulations based on the amphoteric defect model. A comparison of the calculations and experimental results show that the formation energy of native donors and acceptors at the Fermi stabilization energy is ∼1 eV and that the mobility of sputtered deposited CdO is limited by a background acceptor concentration of ∼5-6 × 1020/cm3. The calculations offer an insight into understanding of the effects of defects on electrical properties of undoped and doped CdO and offer a potential to use similar methods to analyze doping and defect properties of other semiconductor materials.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division, of the U.S. DOE under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. The materials synthesis, processing, and characterization were supported by the Electronic Materials Program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The mobility calculations were carried as collaboration between LBNL and U. of Minnesota. S. Grankowska was supported by the Foundation for Polish Science International Ph.D. Projects Programme and the EU European Regional Development Fund. G. Chen acknowledges the support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 11174101).
© 2016 Author(s).