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Investigation of Post Annealing Effects on Nb:TiO2 Transparent Conducting Thin Films

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Nb doped TiO2 (TNO) has been identified as an alternative transparent conductor to ITO. Three percent Nb doped TiO2 (Ti0.97Nb0.03O2) films were deposited by rf magnetron sputtering on glass and silicon substrates at room temperature. The as deposited films were annealed at temperature ranging from 350 °C to 550 °C in air. The XRD data suggest that as deposited amorphous films led to the (101) oriented anatase phase after annealing. The surface morphology investigated by FESEM and AFM show formation of very smooth and homogeneous films. A minimum electrical resistivity of 3.2 × 10−2Ω · cm and maximum carrier density of 9.1 × 1019 cm−3 was obtained at 450 °C annealing temperature for the anatase TNO films. The as prepared and annealed films were transparent with an average transparency above 75%. The root mean square roughness measured by AFM for pristine sample was 1.97 nm which increases to 4.46 nm with an increase in annealing temperature to 550 °C. These results indicate that post annealing method has considerable potential for enhancing the properties of transparent conducting oxides.
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Keywords: Annealing; Niobium Doping; Titanium Dioxide; Transparent Conducting Oxides

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Physics, Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur 302017, India

Publication date: November 1, 2016

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