Hydrogen plasma treatment for improved conductivity in amorphous aluminum doped zinc tin oxide thin films
Improving the conductivity of earth-abundant transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) remains an important challenge that will facilitate the replacement of indium-based TCOs. Here, we show that a hydrogen (H-2)-plasma post-deposition treatment improves the conductivity of amorphous aluminum-doped zinc tin oxide while retaining its low optical absorption. We found that the H-2-plasma treatment performed at a substrate temperature of 50 degrees C reduces the resistivity of the films by 57% and increases the absorptance by only 2%. Additionally, the low substrate temperature delays the known formation of tin particles with the plasma and it allows the application of the process to temperature-sensitive substrates. (C) 2014 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.