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High (>350 °C) temperature DC-sputtering deposition of ZnO:Al thin films onto single-crystal (00.1) oriented Al2O3 (sapphire) substrates is reported, using a ultrahigh-density, low-resistivity and low-cost composite ceramic target produced by slip-casting (pressureless) sintering of ZnO–Al2O3 (AZO) powders. The original combination of high-angle θ–2θ (Bragg–Brentano geometry) X-ray diffraction with low angle θ–2θ X-ray reflectivity (XRR) techniques allows us to define the AZO target composition and investigate the structural properties and surface/interface roughness of as-sputtered ZnO:Al films; besides, the growth dynamics of ZnO:Al is unambiguously determined. The target turned out composed of the sole wurtzite ZnO and spinel ZnAl2O4 phases. X-ray diffraction analyses revealed highly (00.1)-oriented (epitaxial) ZnO:Al films, the material mean crystallite size being in the 13–20 nm range and increasing …
Publication date: 
15 Sep 2014

I Miccoli, R Spampinato, F Marzo, P Prete, N Lovergine

Biblio References: 
Volume: 313 Pages: 418-423
Applied Surface Science