Nitrogen Doping and Ion Beam Processing of Zinc Oxide Thin Films

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Title: Nitrogen Doping and Ion Beam Processing of Zinc Oxide Thin Films
Author: Wellenius, Ian Patrick
Advisors: John Muth, Committee Co-Chair
Robert Kolbas, Committee Member
Salah Bedair, Committee Member
Abstract: The modification of single crystal epitaxial ZnO thin films grown by Pulsed Laser Deposition on c-axis oriented sapphire substrates by Ion Beam Processing was investigated. Nitrogen doping of the films was attempted using nuclear transmutation using the ¹⁶O (³He, ⁴He) ¹⁵O reaction at 6.6 MeV. The ¹⁵O product is unstable and decays to <sup>15</sup>N after several minutes by positron emission. There are several potential advantages to using nuclear transmutation including producing nitrogen atoms on the correct lattice site for doping and reduced crystal damage as compared to conventional ion beam implantation. In the experiments in this thesis the doping levels achieved ~10¹⁴ cm⁻³ were too low to be expected to dope the films to p-type. However several beneficial effects due to the ion beam processing were observed, including large increases in resistivity, reduction of defect luminescence, and substantial increases in the response of photoconductive detectors. In addition to desired effects in some films it was also found that in some films bubble like structures approximately 10 μm in diameter were formed where the thin film delaminated from the surface. It was assumed that mechanism for the bubble formation was the build up of helium gas at the sapphire/ZnO interface.
Date: 2006-01-05
Degree: MS
Discipline: Electrical Engineering

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