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Title: Design of low surface roughness-low residual stress-high optoelectronic merit a-IZO thin films for flexible OLEDs

The development of efficient and reliable large-area flexible optoelectronic devices demands low surface roughness-low residual stress-high optoelectronic merit transparent conducting oxide (TCO) thin films. Here, we correlate surface roughness-residual stress-optoelectronic properties of sputtered amorphous indium zinc oxide (a-IZO) thin films using a statistical design of experiment (DOE) approach and find a common growth space to achieve a smooth surface in a stress-free and high optoelectronic merit a-IZO thin film. The sputtering power, growth pressure, oxygen partial pressure, and RF/(RF+DC) are varied in a two-level system with a full factorial design, and results are used to deconvolve the complex growth space, identifying significant control growth parameters and their possible interactions. The surface roughness of a-IZO thin film varies over 0.19 nm to 3.97 nm, which is not in line with the general assumption of low surface roughness in a-IZO thin films. The initial regression model and analysis of variance reveal no single optimum growth sub-space to achieve low surface roughness (=0.5 nm), low residual stress (-1 to 0 GPa), and industrially acceptable electrical conductivity (>1000 S/cm) for a-IZO thin films. The extrapolation of growth parameters in light of the current results and previous knowledge leads to a new sub-space, resulting inmore » a low residual stress of -0.52 +/- 0.04 GPa, a low surface roughness of 0.55 +/- 0.03 nm, and moderate electrical conductivity of 1962 +/- 3.84 S/cm in a-IZO thin films. Lastly, these results demonstrate the utility of the DOE approach to multi-parameter optimization, which provides an important tool for the development of flexible TCOs for the next-generation flexible organic light emitting diodes applications.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Indian Institute of Technology Ropar, Punjab (India)
  2. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 119; Journal Issue: 22; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; thin film growth; surface measurements; thin film roughness; electrical conductivity; organic light emitting diodes; OLED; amorphous indium zinc oxide; surface roughness; residual stress; design of experiments (DOE); analysis of variance(ANOVA)
OSTI Identifier: