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Title: Non-equilibrium origin of high electrical conductivity in gallium zinc oxide thin films

Non-equilibrium state defines physical properties of materials in many technologies, including architectural, metallic, and semiconducting amorphous glasses. In contrast, crystalline electronic and energy materials, such as transparent conductive oxides (TCO), are conventionally thought to be in equilibrium. Here, we demonstrate that high electrical conductivity of crystalline Ga-doped ZnO TCO thin films occurs by virtue of metastable state of their defects. These results imply that such defect metastability may be important in other functional oxides. This finding emphasizes the need to understand and control non-equilibrium states of materials, in particular, their metastable defects, for the design of novel functional materials.
Authors:
; ;  [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 15013 Denver W Pkwy, Golden, Colorado 80401 (United States)
  2. Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, Illinois 60208 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22253896
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 103; Journal Issue: 23; Other Information: (c) 2013 Author(s); Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; DOPED MATERIALS; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; EQUILIBRIUM; GALLIUM; GLASS; METASTABLE STATES; THIN FILMS; ZINC OXIDES