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Characterization of Crystalline Structure and Morphology of NiO Thin Films

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We investigated the relation of sputtering powers with structural and morphological properties of nickel oxide (NiO) thin films. NiO thin films were fabricated by using an rf-reactive sputtering method on Si(100) substrates with a Ni target in a partial pressure of oxygen and argon. The films were deposited by various rf-sputtering powers from 100 to 200 W at room temperature. The phases and crystalline structures of the deposited films were investigated by using grazing incident X-ray diffraction (XRD). The thickness and surface morphology of the films were investigated by using a field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). The different sputtering conditions drastically affected the crystallinity and the surface morphology of NiO thin films. A combined analysis of the data obtained from X-ray diffraction and SEM images demonstrates that the preferred orientation of NiO films tends to grow from (111) to (200) direction as increasing the sputtering power, which can be explained by in terms of the surface energy along the indexing plane in an fcc structure. As increasing the rf power, lattice constants decreased from 4.26 to 4.20 Å and samples became high-quality crystals. Under our experimental condition, NiO films prepared at 150 W with 20% partial pressure of oxygen and 7 cm distance from the sample to the target show the best quality of the crystal.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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