Enhancement in structural, morphological and optical features of thermally annealed zinc oxide nanofilm

SAXENA, Namrata ; Sharma, Ritu ; Sharma, Varshali ; Sharma, K.K. ; Jain, Kapil Kumar; Chaudhary, Santosh


This paper presents the study of surface morphological, optical and microstructural features of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanofilm layered upon p-type Si substrate of <100> orientation by employing conventional RF magnetron sputtering system at different annealing temperatures. The effect of annealing on the nano-film is examined using different characterization techniques such as Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy), UV-vis spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy. The sharp diffraction peak at (002) orientation is seen by the XRD spectra which signifies a better growth of single crystalline thin film along the z-axis with the hexagonal wurtzite crystal structure. The surface morphological study shows that the grain size of the thin film intensifies from 22.06 nm to 36.77 nm when the annealing temperature is increased whereas there is a decrease in the values of lattice constants (a=b, c), FWHM (full width at half maximum), residual stress, lattice strain and dislocation density by increasing annealing temperature. The enhancement in the grain size makes the thin film appropriate for MEMS device applications including piezoelectric energy harvesters, gas sensors, etc. The optical bandgap of the ZnO thin film is estimated using Kubelka-Munk (KM) approach and it decreases from 3.23 to 3.16 eV for As-deposited, 400 °C, 600 °C and 800 °C respectively which makes the annealed thin film apposite for optoelectronic device applications. The intensity of the Raman peaks strengthens with the annealing temperature. These results prove that the annealing extensively enhances the crystallinity, structural, morphological and optical features of ZnO thin film and hence becomes suitable for nanoelectronic device applications.


ZnO Thin Film; AFM; FTIR; Kubelka-Munk; Optical Bandgap; Raman Spectroscopy; SEM; Tauc-plot; UV-Vis; XRD

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