Tuning Zinc Oxide Layers Towards White Light Emission
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White light emitting diodes (LED) have drawn increasing attention due to their low energy consumption, high efficiency and potential to become primary lighting source by replacing conventional light sources. White light emission is usually generated either by coating yellow phosphor on a blue-LED or blending red, green and blue phosphor in an appropriate ratio. Maintaining appropriate proportions of individual components in the blend is difficult and the major demerit of such system is the overall self-absorption, which changes the solution concentration. This results in uncontrolled changes in the whiteness of the emitted light. Zinc Oxide (ZnO), a wide bandgap semiconductor with a large exciton binding energy at room temperature has been recognized as a promising material for ultraviolet LEDs and laser diodes. Tuning of structural, optical and electrical properties of ZnO thin films by different dopants (Lithium, Indium and Gallium) is dealt in this thesis. The achievement of white light emission from a semiconducting material without using phosphors offers an inexpensive fabrication technology, good luminescence, low turn-on voltage and high efficiency. The present work is organized chapter wise, which has 8 chapters including the summary and future work. Chapter 1: Gives a brief discussion on the overview of ZnO as an optoelectronic material, crystal structure of semiconductor ZnO, the effect of doping, optical properties and its possible applications in optoelectronic devices. Chapter 2: Deals with various deposition techniques used in the present study, includes pulsed laser deposition and thermal evaporation. The experimental set up details and the deposition procedures are described in detail. A brief note on the structural characterization equipments, namely X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and the optical characterization techniques namely Raman spectroscopy, transmission spectroscopy and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy is presented. The electrical properties of the films were studied by current- voltage, capacitance - voltage and Hall Effect measurements and the experimental details are discussed. Chapter 3: High quality ZnO/Si heterojunctions fabricated by growing ZnO thin films on p-type Si (100) substrate by pulsed laser deposition without using buffer layers are discussed in this chapter. The crystallinity of the heterojunction was analyzed by high resolution X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy. The optical quality of the film was analyzed by room temperature (RT) photoluminescence measurements. The high intense band to band emission confirmed the high quality of the ZnO thin films on Si. The electrical properties of the junction were studied by temperature dependent resistivity, current- voltage measurements and RT capacitance-voltage (C-V) analysis. ZnO thin film showed the lowest resistivity of 6.4x10-3 Ω.cm, mobility of 7 cm2/V.sec and charge carrier concentration of 1.58x1019cm-3 at RT. The charge carrier concentration and the barrier height (BH) were calculated to be 9.7x1019cm-3 and 0.6 eV respectively from the C-V plot. The BH and ideality factor, calculated by using the thermionic emission (TE) model were found to be highly temperature dependent. We observed a much lower value in Richardson constant, 5.19x10-7 A/cm2K2 than the theoretical value (32 A/cm2K2) for ZnO. This analysis revealed the existence of a Gaussian distribution (GD) with a standard deviation of σ2=0.035 V. By implementing GD to the TE, the values of BH and Richardson constant were obtained as 1.3 eV and 39.97 A/cm2K2 respectively from the modified Richardson plot. The obtained Richardson constant value is close to the theoretical value for n-ZnO. These high quality heterojunctions can be used for solar cell applications. Chapter 4: This chapter describes the structural and optical properties of Li doped ZnO thin films and the properties of ZnO/Li doped ZnO multilayered thin film structures. Thin films of ZnO, Li doped ZnO (ZLO) and multilayer of ZnO and ZLO (ZnO/ZLO) were grown on silicon and Corning glass substrates by pulsed laser deposition technique. Single phase formation and the crystalline qualities of the films were analyzed by X-ray diffraction and Li composition in the film was investigated to be 15 Wt % by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Raman spectrum reveals the hexagonal wurtzite structure of ZnO, ZLO and ZnO/ZLO multilayer, confirms the single phase formation. Films grown on Corning glass show more than 80 % transmittance in the visible region and the optical band gaps were calculated to be 3.245, 3.26 and 3.22 eV for ZnO, ZLO and ZnO/ZLO respectively. An efficient blue emission was observed in all films that were grown on silicon (100) substrate by photoluminescence (PL). PL measurements at different temperatures reveal that the PL emission intensity of ZnO/ZLO multilayer was weakly dependent on temperature as compared to the single layers of ZnO and ZLO and the wavelength of emission was independent of temperature. Our results indicate that ZnO/ZLO multilayer can be used for the fabrication of blue light emitting diodes. Chapter 5: This chapter is divided in to two parts. The fabrication and characterization of In doped ZnO thin films grown on Corning glass substrate is discussed in the first section. Zinc Oxide (ZnO) and indium doped ZnO (IZO) thin films with different indium compositions were grown by pulsed laser deposition technique. The effect of indium concentration on the structural, morphological, optical and electrical properties of the film was studied. The films were oriented along the c-direction with wurtzite structure and are highly transparent with an average transmittance of more than 80 % in the visible wavelength region. The energy band gap was found to be decreasing with increasing indium concentration. High transparency makes the films useful as optical windows while the high band gap values support the idea that the film could be a good candidate for optoelectronic devices. The value of resistivity observed to be decreasing initially with doping concentration and subsequently increasing. The XPS and Raman spectrum confirm the presence of indium in indium doped ZnO thin films. The photoluminescence spectrum showed a tunable red light emission with different In concentrations. Undoped and In doped ZnO (IZO) thin films were grown on Pt coated silicon substrates (Pt/Si) to fabricate Pt/ZnO:Inx Schottky contacts (SC) is discussed in the second section. The SCs were investigated by conventional two probe current-voltage (I-V) measurement and by the I-V spectroscopy of conductive atomic force microscopy (C-AFM). X-ray diffraction technique was used to examine the thin film quality. Changes in various parameters like Schottky barrier height (SBH) and ideality factor (IF) as a function of temperature were presented. The estimated BH was found to be increasing and the IF was found to be decreasing with increase in temperature. The variation of SBH and IF with temperature has been explained by considering the lateral inhomogeneities in nanometer scale lengths at metal–semiconductor (MS) interface. The inhomogeneities of SBH in nanometer scale length were confirmed by C-AFM. The SBH and IF estimated from I-V spectroscopy of C-AFM showed large deviation from the conventional two probe I-V measurements. IZO thin films showed a decrease in SBH, lower turn on voltage and an enhancement in forward current with increase in In concentration. Chapter 6: In this chapter the properties of Ga doped ZnO thin films with different Ga concentrations along with undoped ZnO as a reference is discussed. Undoped and Ga doped ZnO thin films with different Ga concentrations were grown on Corning glass substrates by PLD. The structural, optical and electrical properties of Ga doped ZnO thin films are discussed. The XRD, XPS and Raman spectrum reveal the phase formation and successful doping of Ga on ZnO. All the films show good transmittance in the visible region and the photoluminescence of Ga doped ZnO showed a stable emission in the blue- green region. The resistivity of Ga doped ZnO thin films was found to be first decreasing and then increasing with increase in Ga concentrations. Chapter 7: The effect of co-doping to ZnO on the structural, optical and electrical properties was described in this chapter. Ga and In co-doped ZnO (GIZO) thin films together with ZnO, In doped ZnO (IZO), Ga doped ZnO (GZO), IZO/GZO multilayer for comparison, were grown on Corning glass and boron doped Si substrates by PLD. GIZO showed better structural, optical and electrical properties compared with other thin films. The Photoluminescence spectra of GIZO showed a strong white light emission and the current-voltage characteristics showed relatively lower turn on voltage and larger forward current. The CIE co-ordinates for GIZO were observed to be (0.31, 0.33) with a CCT of 6650 K, indicating a cool white light and established a possibility of white light emitting diodes. Finally the chapter 8 presents the summary derived out of the work and a few suggestions on future work.