Current Applied Physics, Vol.19, No.2, 168-173, 2019
Chemical and structural analysis of low-temperature excimer-laser annealing in indium-tin oxide sol-gel films
We investigated the influence of excimer-laser annealing (ELA) on the electrical, chemical, and structural properties of indium-fin oxide (ITO) films prepared by a solution process. The ITO film was prepared by the solgel method and annealed by excimer-laser pulses with an energy density up to 240 mJ/cm(2). Hall measurements showed that the ELA substantially enhanced the electrical properties of the ITO films, including their resistivity, carrier density, and mobility, as increasing the laser energy density. In-depth x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis of the chemical states in the film surface showed that the ELA reduced carbon species and promoted both an oxidation and crystallization. These changes were consistent with results of x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy measurements, where expansions in the microcrystal growth were observed for higher laser energy density. We comprehensively understand that the chemical rearrangement and concomitant crystallization are the main factors for achieving the electrical properties during the ELA. These results suggest the potential of the ELA-treated sol-gel films for providing high-quality ITO films M low temperatures toward the flexible device applications.