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The role of oxygen atoms in the growth of magnetron sputter-deposited ZnO films was studied in a deposition and post-deposition study in which the deposition of a several-nanometer-thick ZnO layer altered with an exposure to an O2/Ar mixed plasma, i.e., a layer-by-layer
(LbL) technique. The film crystallization was promoted by suppressing the oxygen vacancy and interstitial defects by adjusting the exposure conditions of the O2/Ar plasma. These findings suggest that the chemical potential of the oxygen atom influences the film crystallization and
the electronic state. The diffusion and effusion of oxygen atoms at the growing surface have an effect similar to that of thermal annealing, promoted film crystallization and the creation and the annihilation of oxygen- and zinc-related defects. The role of oxygen atoms reaching the growing
film surface is discussed in terms of chemical annealing and a possible oxygen diffusion mechanism is proposed.
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.