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Effect of Zinc Content on the Refractive Index of Co-Sputtered Zn-Doped ITO Films

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In this study, we investigated the possibility of using Zn-doped ITO film as an alternative material for conventional SiO2 waveguides used in optical communication. The Zn-doped ITO films were deposited on quartz substrates using a combinatorial sputtering system, which yielded composition spread Zn-In-Sn-O (ZITO) films by co-sputtering two targets of ITO and ZnO. The Zn-doped ITO films deposited at room temperature exhibited an amorphous phase in the Zn content [Zn/(Zn+In+Sn)] range of 39∼54 at%. The Zn-doped ITO films deposited at low oxygen partial pressure showed resistivity below 10−3 Ω·cm and optical transmittance of ∼85% at 550 nm. The refractive index calculated by the Swanepoel method was found to be dependent on the Zn content in the Zn-doped ITO films. The calculated bending loss from the refractive index indicated that Zn-doped ITO could be utilized as a new waveguide material for various optical devices, such as optical splitters, wavelength division multiplexers (WDMs), optical modulators, and optical switches.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2011

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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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