The effect of heat treatment on the physical properties of sol-gel derived ZnO thin films
Raoufi D., Raoufi T.
Zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films were deposited on microscope glass substrates by sol-gel spin coating method. Zinc acetate (ZnAc) dehydrate was used as the starting salt material source. A homogeneous and stable solution was prepared by dissolving ZnAc in the solution of monoethanolamine (MEA). ZnO thin films were obtained after preheating the spin coated thin films at 250 Â°C for 5 min after each coating. The films, after the deposition of the eighth layer, were annealed in air at temperatures of 300 Â°C, 400 Â°C and 500 Â°C for 1 h. The effect of thermal annealing in air on the physical properties of the sol-gel derived ZnO thin films are studied. The powder and its thin film were characterized by X-ray diffractometer (XRD) method. XRD analysis revealed that the annealed ZnO thin films consist of single phase ZnO with wurtzite structure (JCPDS 36-1451) and show the c-axis grain orientation. Increasing annealing temperature increased the c-axis orientation and the crystallite size of the film. The annealed films are highly transparent with average transmission exceeding 80% in the visible range (400-700 nm). The measured optical band gap values of the ZnO thin films were between 3.26 eV and 3.28 eV, which were in the range of band gap values of intrinsic ZnO (3.2-3.3 eV). SEM analysis of annealed thin films has shown a completely different surface morphology behavior. Â© 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.