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Surface Morphological and Nanomechanical Properties of PLD-Derived ZnO Thin Films

Sheng-Rui Jian1*, I-Ju Teng2, Ping-Feng Yang3, Yi-Shao Lai3, Jian-Ming Lu4, Jee-Gong Chang4 and Shin-Pon Ju5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung, 840, Taiwan, ROC

2 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, 300, Taiwan, ROC

3 Central Labs, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Kaohsiung, 811, Taiwan, ROC

4 National Center for High-Performance Computing, National Applied Research Laboratories, No. 28, Nanke 3rd Rd., Sinshih Township, Tainan County, 74147, Taiwan, ROC

5 Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering; Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, National Sun-Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, 804, Taiwan, ROC

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2008, 3:186-193  doi:10.1007/s11671-008-9134-4

Published: 21 May 2008


This study reports the surface roughness and nanomechanical characteristics of ZnO thin films deposited on the various substrates, obtained by means of atomic force microscopy (AFM), nanoindentation and nanoscratch techniques. ZnO thin films are deposited on (a- and c-axis) sapphires and (0001) 6H-SiC substrates by using the pulsed-laser depositions (PLD) system. Continuous stiffness measurements (CSM) technique is used in the nanoindentation tests to determine the hardness and Young’s modulus of ZnO thin films. The importance of the ratio (H/Efilm) of elastic to plastic deformation during nanoindentation of ZnO thin films on their behaviors in contact-induced damage during fabrication of ZnO-based devices is considered. In addition, the friction coefficient of ZnO thin films is also presented here.

ZnO; PLD; AFM; Nanoindentation; Nanoscratch; Hardness