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Physical properties of metal-doped zinc oxide films for surface acoustic wave application

Sang-Hun Nam*, Sang-Jin Cho and Jin-Hyo Boo*

Author Affiliations

Department of Chemistry and Institute of Basic Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, 440-746, South Korea

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:25  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-25

Published: 5 January 2012


Metal-doped ZnO [MZO] thin films show changes of the following properties by a dopant. First, group III element (Al, In, Ga)-doped ZnO thin films have a high conductivity having an n-type semiconductor characteristic. Second, group I element (Li, Na, K)-doped ZnO thin films have high resistivity due to a dopant that accepts a carrier. The metal-doped ZnO (M = Li, Ag) films were prepared by radio frequency magnetron sputtering on glass substrates with the MZO targets. We investigated on the optical and electrical properties of the as-sputtered MZO films as dependences on the doping contents in the targets. All the MZO films had shown a preferred orientation in the [002] direction. As the quantity and the variety of metal dopants were changed, the crystallinity and the transmittance, as well as optical band gap were changed. The electrical resistivity was also changed with changing metal doping amounts and kinds of dopants. An epitaxial Li-doped ZnO film has a high resistivity and very smooth surface; it will have the most optimum conditions which can be used for the piezoelectric devices.

MZO; surface acoustic waves; RF magnetron sputter; ZnO; piezoelectric devices