Microstructural and surface property variations due to the amorphous region formed by thermal annealing in Al-doped ZnO thin films grown on n-Si (1 0 0) substrates

J. H. Han, Y. S. No, T. W. Kim, J. Y. Lee, J. Y. Kim, W. K. Choi

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X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns revealed that the as-grown and annealed Al-doped ZnO (AZO) films grown on the n-Si (1 0 0) substrates were polycrystalline. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images showed that bright-contrast regions existed in the grain boundary, and high-resolution TEM (HRTEM) images showed that the bright-contrast regions with an amorphous phase were embedded in the ZnO grains. While the surface roughness of the AZO film annealed at 800 °C became smoother, those of the AZO films annealed at 900 and 1000 °C became rougher. XRD patterns, TEM images, selected-area electron diffraction patterns, HRTEM images, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) images showed that the crystallinity in the AZO thin films grown on the n-Si (1 0 0) substrates was enhanced resulting from the release in the strain energy for the AZO thin films due to thermal annealing at 800 °C. XRD patterns and AFM images show that the crystallinity of the AZO thin films annealed at 1000 °C deteriorated due to the formation of the amorphous phase in the ZnO thin films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1920-1924
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010 Jan 1



  • Al-doped ZnO
  • Amorphous region
  • Microstructural property
  • Si
  • Thermal annealing

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