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Improving the optoelectronic properties of titanium-doped indium tin oxide thin films

Taha, H., Jiang, Z-T, Henry, D.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-9629-4423, Amri, A., Yin, C-Y and Rahman, M.M.ORCID: 0000-0002-6778-7931 (2017) Improving the optoelectronic properties of titanium-doped indium tin oxide thin films. Semiconductor Science and Technology, 32 (6). 065011.

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The focus of this study is on a sol–gel method combined with spin-coating to prepare high-quality transparent conducting oxide (TCO) films. The structural, morphological, optical and electrical properties of sol–gel-derived pure and Ti-doped indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were studied as a function of the concentration of the Ti (i.e. 0 at%, 2 at% and 4 at%) and annealing temperatures (150 °C–600 °C). FESEM measurements indicate that all the films are ~350 nm thick. XRD analysis confirmed the cubic bixbyite structure of the polycrystalline indium oxide phase for all of the thin films. Increasing the Ti ratio, as well as the annealing temperature, improved the crystallinity of the films. Highly crystalline structures were obtained at 500 °C, with average grain sizes of about 50, 65 and 80 nm for Ti doping of 0 at%, 2 at% and 4 at%, respectively. The electrical and optical properties improved as the annealing temperature increased, with an enlarged electronic energy band gap and an optical absorption edge below 280 nm. In particular, the optical transmittance and electrical resistivity of the samples with a 4 at% Ti content improved from 87% and 7.10 × 10−4 Ω.cm to 92% and 1.6 × 10−4 Ω.cm, respectively. The conductivity, especially for the annealing temperature at 150 °C, is acceptable for many applications such as flexible electronics. These results demonstrate that unlike the more expensive and complex vacuum sputtering process, high-quality Ti-doped ITO films can be achieved by fast processing, simple wet-chemistry, and easy doping level control with the possibility of producing films with high scalability.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Publisher: Institute of Physics
Copyright: © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd
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