Microstructural and conductivity changes induced by annealing of ZnO:B thin films deposited by chemical vapour deposition
Zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films have attracted much attention in recent years due to progress in crystal growth for a large variety of technological applications including optoelectronics and transparent electrodes in solar cells. Boron (B)-doped ZnO thin films are deposited by low pressure chemical vapour deposition (LPCVD) on Si(100). These films exhibit a strong (002) texture with a pyramidal grain structure. The ZnO films were annealed after growth; the annealing temperature and the atmosphere appear to strongly impact the layer conductivity. This work will first present the modification of the physical properties (carrier concentration, mobility) extracted from the simulation of layer reflection in the infrared range. At low annealing temperatures the mobility increases slightly before decreasing drastically above a temperature close to 250 °C. The chemical and structural evolution (XPS, x-ray diffraction) of the films was also studied to identify the relationship between microstructural modifications and the variations observed in the film conductivity. An in situ XRD study during annealing has been performed under air and low pressure conditions. As observed for electrical properties, the microstructural modifications shift to higher temperatures for vacuum annealing.