On the Role of Tin Doping in InOx Thin Films Deposited by Radio Frequency-Plasma Enhanced Reactive Thermal Evaporation

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In view of the increasing need for larger-area display devices with improved image quality it becomes increasingly important to decrease resistivity while maintaining transparency in transparent conducting oxides (TCOs). Accomplishing the goal of increased conductivity and transparency will require a deeper understanding of the relationships between the structure and the electro-optical properties of these materials. In this work we study the role of tin doping in InO(x) thin films. Undoped indium oxide (InO(x)) and indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were deposited at room temperature by radio-frequency plasma enhanced reactive thermal evaporation (rf-PERTE), a new technique recently developed in our laboratory using as evaporation source either In rods or a 90%In:10%Sn alloy, respectively. The two most important macroscopic properties-optical transparency and electrical resistivity-seem to be independent of the tin content in these deposition conditions. Results show that the films present a visible transmittance of the order of 82%, and an electrical resistivity of about 8 x 10(-4) Omega . cm. Surface morphology characterization made by atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed that homogeneity of the films deposited from a 90%In:10%Sn alloy is enhanced (a film with small and compact grains is produced) and consequently a smooth surface with reduced roughness and with similar grain size and shape is obtained. Films deposited from pure In rods evaporation source show the presence of aggregates randomly distributed above a film tissue formed of thinner grains.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)2713-2716
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

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