Applied Surface Science, Vol.377, 355-360, 2016
Electrical stability of Al-doped ZnO transparent electrode prepared by sol-gel method
Al-doped zinc oxide (AZO) thin films have been considered as a promising alternative to tin doped indium oxide (ITO), which is currently used in various optoelectronic applications. However, the environmental stability of AZO film is not satisfactory, in that the resistivity is significantly increases in air. Here, we investigate the resistivity stability of AZO thin films prepared by sol-gel method using various annealing temperatures and durations. The degradation of resistivity property was observed for AZO films stored in ambient or damp heat environment, where the degradation rate was influenced by annealing temperature. A significant improvement of electrical stability was attained in AZO films that were prepared at high annealing temperature. The films, which showed the highest and the lowest increasing rate of resistivity, were further characterized in detail to shed light on the possible mechanisms explaining the improved stability through crystallinity, surface morphology and elemental state of the thin film. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.