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Title: Environmentally induced chemical and morphological heterogeneity of zinc oxide thin films

Abstract

Zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films have been reported to suffer from degradation in electrical properties, when exposed to elevated heat and humidity, often leading to failures of electronic devices containing ZnO films. This degradation appears to be linked to water and oxygen penetration into the ZnO film. However, a direct observation in the ZnO film morphological evolution detailing structural and chemical changes has been lacking. Here, we systematically investigated the chemical and morphological heterogeneities of ZnO thin films caused by elevated heat and humidity, simulating an environmental aging. X-ray fluorescence microscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, grazing incidence small angle and wide angle X-ray scattering, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), ultra-high-resolution SEM, and optical microscopy were carried out to examine ZnO and Al-doped ZnO thin films on two different substrates—silicon wafers and flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films. In the un-doped ZnO thin film, the simulated environmental aging is resulting in pin-holes. In the Al-doped ZnO thin films, significant morphological changes occurred after the treatment, with an appearance of platelet-shaped structures that are 100–200 nm wide by 1μm long. Synchrotron x-ray characterization further confirmed the heterogeneity in the aged Al-doped ZnO, showing the formation of anisotropic structures and disordering. X-ray diffraction and X-ray absorptionmore » spectroscopy indicated the formation of a zinc hydroxide in the aged Al-doped films. In conclusion, utilizing advanced characterization methods, our studies provided information with an unprecedented level of details and revealed the chemical and morphologically heterogeneous nature of the degradation in ZnO thin films.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [4];  [5]; ORCiD logo [4];  [6];  [4]
  1. Stony Brook Univ., NY (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering
  2. Autonomous Univ. of Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona (Spain). Henkel Iberica S. A. Edificio Eureka
  3. Henkel Corp., Bridgewater, NJ (United States)
  4. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II)
  5. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States). Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)
  6. Hitachi High Technologies America, Clarksburg, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1340397
Report Number(s):
BNL-112697-2016-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951; TRN: US1701663
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012704; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 109; Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Jiang, Hua, Chou, Kang Wei, Petrash, Stanislas, Williams, Garth, Thieme, Juergen, Nykypanchuk, Dmytro, Li, Li, Muto, Atsushi, and Chen-Wiegart, Yu-chen Karen. Environmentally induced chemical and morphological heterogeneity of zinc oxide thin films. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1063/1.4962203.
Jiang, Hua, Chou, Kang Wei, Petrash, Stanislas, Williams, Garth, Thieme, Juergen, Nykypanchuk, Dmytro, Li, Li, Muto, Atsushi, & Chen-Wiegart, Yu-chen Karen. Environmentally induced chemical and morphological heterogeneity of zinc oxide thin films. United States. doi:10.1063/1.4962203.
Jiang, Hua, Chou, Kang Wei, Petrash, Stanislas, Williams, Garth, Thieme, Juergen, Nykypanchuk, Dmytro, Li, Li, Muto, Atsushi, and Chen-Wiegart, Yu-chen Karen. 2016. "Environmentally induced chemical and morphological heterogeneity of zinc oxide thin films". United States. doi:10.1063/1.4962203. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1340397.
@article{osti_1340397,
title = {Environmentally induced chemical and morphological heterogeneity of zinc oxide thin films},
author = {Jiang, Hua and Chou, Kang Wei and Petrash, Stanislas and Williams, Garth and Thieme, Juergen and Nykypanchuk, Dmytro and Li, Li and Muto, Atsushi and Chen-Wiegart, Yu-chen Karen},
abstractNote = {Zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films have been reported to suffer from degradation in electrical properties, when exposed to elevated heat and humidity, often leading to failures of electronic devices containing ZnO films. This degradation appears to be linked to water and oxygen penetration into the ZnO film. However, a direct observation in the ZnO film morphological evolution detailing structural and chemical changes has been lacking. Here, we systematically investigated the chemical and morphological heterogeneities of ZnO thin films caused by elevated heat and humidity, simulating an environmental aging. X-ray fluorescence microscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, grazing incidence small angle and wide angle X-ray scattering, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), ultra-high-resolution SEM, and optical microscopy were carried out to examine ZnO and Al-doped ZnO thin films on two different substrates—silicon wafers and flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films. In the un-doped ZnO thin film, the simulated environmental aging is resulting in pin-holes. In the Al-doped ZnO thin films, significant morphological changes occurred after the treatment, with an appearance of platelet-shaped structures that are 100–200 nm wide by 1μm long. Synchrotron x-ray characterization further confirmed the heterogeneity in the aged Al-doped ZnO, showing the formation of anisotropic structures and disordering. X-ray diffraction and X-ray absorption spectroscopy indicated the formation of a zinc hydroxide in the aged Al-doped films. In conclusion, utilizing advanced characterization methods, our studies provided information with an unprecedented level of details and revealed the chemical and morphologically heterogeneous nature of the degradation in ZnO thin films.},
doi = {10.1063/1.4962203},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
number = 9,
volume = 109,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}

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  • Zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films have been reported to suffer from degradation in electrical properties, when exposed to elevated heat and humidity, often leading to failures of electronic devices containing ZnO films. This degradation appears to be linked to water and oxygen penetration into the ZnO film. However, a direct observation in the ZnO film morphological evolution detailing structural and chemical changes has been lacking. Here, we systematically investigated the chemical and morphological heterogeneities of ZnO thin films caused by elevated heat and humidity, simulating an environmental aging. X-ray fluorescence microscopy, X-ray absorption spectroscopy, grazing incidence small angle and widemore » angle X-ray scattering, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), ultra-high-resolution SEM, and optical microscopy were carried out to examine ZnO and Al-doped ZnO thin films on two different substrates—silicon wafers and flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) films. In the un-doped ZnO thin film, the simulated environmental aging is resulting in pin-holes. In the Al-doped ZnO thin films, significant morphological changes occurred after the treatment, with an appearance of platelet-shaped structures that are 100–200 nm wide by 1 μm long. Synchrotron x-ray characterization further confirmed the heterogeneity in the aged Al-doped ZnO, showing the formation of anisotropic structures and disordering. X-ray diffraction and X-ray absorption spectroscopy indicated the formation of a zinc hydroxide in the aged Al-doped films. Utilizing advanced characterization methods, our studies provided information with an unprecedented level of details and revealed the chemical and morphologically heterogeneous nature of the degradation in ZnO thin films.« less
  • Thin films of ZnO were deposited, on Si substrates, using the RF-sputtering technique and irradiated by the 175 MeV Au{sup +13} beams. The structural changes were investigated by x-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements. The particle size found to increase with the increasing ion fluence up to 1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 12} ion/cm{sup 2}. At highest irradiation fluence of 5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 12} ion/cm{sup 2} the average particle size decreases. The Raman spectroscopy measurements were performed to understand the local phonon mode of the samples. The surface morphology of the as-deposited and irradiated thin films is measured by the Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM).
  • Chemical surface reactivity is a key parameter in modern microelectronic and display technology that is defined by basic physical interactions at the liquid etcher/material surface interface. We apply recently developed low-energy electron irradiation method for surface modification of zinc oxide-based thin films affording to vary physical processes at the liquid agent/material surface interface/and widely tune its chemical reactivity. Electron irradiation leads to the formation of ultrathin layer on irradiated surface, without generation of volumetric defects, and preserves original optical and conductive properties. The method allows fabrication of high-resolution patterned templates with modified chemical etching resistance for the fabrication of three-dimensionalmore » patterned arrays.« less