Identifying the influence of the intrinsic defects in Gd-doped ZnO thin-films

Tahani H. Flemban, M. C. Sequeira, Z. Zhang, S. Venkatesh, E. Alves, K. Lorenz, Iman S. Roqan

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Gd-doped ZnO thin films were prepared using pulsed laser deposition at different oxygen pressures and varied Gd concentrations. The effects of oxygen deficiency-related defects on the Gd incorporation, optical and structural properties, were explored by studying the impact of oxygen pressure during deposition and post-growth thermal annealing in vacuum. Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry revealed that the Gd concentration increases with increasing oxygen pressure for samples grown with the same Gd-doped ZnO target. Unexpectedly, the c-lattice parameter of the samples tends to decrease with increasing Gd concentration, suggesting that Gd-defect complexes play an important role in the structural properties. Using low-temperature photoluminescence(PL), Raman measurements and density functional theory calculations, we identified oxygen vacancies as the dominant intrinsic point defects. PL spectra show a defect band related to oxygen vacancies for samples grown at oxygen deficiency.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)065301
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 9 2016


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