P-Type Transparent Cu-Alloyed ZnS Deposited at Room Temperature

2016: Advanced Electronic Materials

https://doi.org/10.1002/aelm.201500396

Rachel Woods‐Robinson, Jason K. Cooper, Xiaojie Xu, Laura T. Schelhas, Vanessa L. Pool, Alireza Faghaninia, Cynthia S. Lo, Michael F. Toney, Ian D. Sharp, Joel W. Ager III*

All transparent conducting materials (TCMs) of technological practicality are n‐type; the inferior conductivity of p‐type TCMs has limited their adoption. In addition, many relatively high‐performing p‐type TCMs require synthesis temperatures >400 °C. Here, room‐temperature pulsed laser deposition of copper‐alloyed zinc sulfide (Cux Zn1‐x S) thin films (0 ≤ ≤ 0.75) is reported. For 0.09 ≤ ≤ 0.35, Cux Zn1‐x S has high p‐type conductivity, up to 42 S cm−1 at = 0.30, with an optical band gap tunable from ≈3.0–3.3 eV and transparency, averaged over the visible, of 50%–71% for 200–250 nm thick films. In this range, synchrotron X‐ray and electron diffraction reveal a nanocrystalline ZnS structure. Secondary crystalline Cuy S phases are not observed, and at higher Cu concentrations, > 0.45, films are amorphous and poorly conducting. Within the TCM regime, the conductivity is temperature independent, indicating degenerate hole conduction. A decrease in lattice parameter with Cu content suggests that the hole conduction is due to substitutional incorporation of Cu onto Zn sites. This hole‐conducting phase is embedded in a less conducting amorphous Cuy S, which dominates at higher Cu concentrations. The combination of high hole conductivity and optical transparency for the peak conductivity Cux Zn1‐x S films is among the best reported to date for a room temperature deposited p‐type TCM.

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