Al-doped ZnO (AZO)/Ag/AZO multilayer coatings (50–70 nm thick) were grown at room temperature on glass substrates with different silver layer thickness, from 3 to 19 nm, by using radio frequency magnetron sputtering. Thermal stability of the compositional, optical and electrical properties of the AZO/Ag/AZO structures were investigated up to 400 °C and as a function of Ag film thickness. An AZO film as thin as 20 nm is an excellent barrier to Ag diffusion. The inclusion of 9.5 nm thin silver layer within the transparent conductive oxide (TCO) material leads to a maximum enhancement of the electro-optical characteristics. The excellent measured properties of low resistance, high transmittance in the visible spectral range and thermal stability allow these ultra-thin AZO/Ag/AZO structures to compete with the 1 μm thick TCO layer currently used in thin film solar cells.
30 Apr 2012
Volume: 520 Issue: 13 Pages: 4432-4435
Thin Solid Films