Preparation, structural and luminescent properties of nanocrystalline ZnO films doped Ag by close space sublimation method
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The simple way for silver doping of ZnO films is presented. The ZnO films were prepared by reactive rf-magnetron sputtering on silicon and sapphire substrates. Ag doping is carried out by sublimation of the Ag source located at close space at atmospheric pressure in air. Then the ZnO and ZnO–Ag films were annealed in wet media. The microstructure and optical properties of the films were compared and studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), photoluminescence (PL) and cathodoluminescence (CL). XRD results indicated that all the ZnO films have a polycrystalline hexagonal structure and a preferred orientation with the c-axis perpendicular to the substrate. The annealing and Ag doping promote increasing grain’s sizes and modification of grain size distribution. The effect of substrate temperature, substrate type, Ag doping and post-growth annealing of the films was studied by PL spectroscopy. The effect of Ag doping was obvious and identical for all the films, namely the wide visible bands of PL spectra are suppressed by Ag doping. The intensity of ultraviolet band increased 15 times as compared to their reference films on sapphire substrate. The ultraviolet/visible emission ratio was 20. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) for a 380 nm band was 14 nm, which is comparable with that of epitaxial ZnO. The data implies the high quality of ZnO–Ag films. Possible mechanisms to enhance UV emission are discussed.
KeywordsThin films ZnO Ag Close space sublimation Photoluminescence Cathodoluminescence
The authors thank the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine for their financial support. The work was partially financed within the program of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine “Nanosystems, nanomaterials, nanotechnologies” (project no. 85/07-N). It is a pleasure to express our gratitude to Prof. George Lashkarev and Dr.Vitaliy Karpyna for helpful discussions. The authors would also like to thank Lenny Monastyrsky for his help with the English edition of this article.
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