The Effect of Post Deposition Treatment on Properties of ALD Al-Doped ZnO Films

Dimitrina Petrova, Blagovest Napoleonov, Chau Nguyen Hong Minh, Vera Marinova*, Yu Pin Lan, Ivalina Avramova, Stefan Petrov, Blagoy Blagoev, Vladimira Videva, Velichka Strijkova, Ivan Kostadinov, Shiuan Huei Lin, Dimitre Dimitrov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this paper, aluminum-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Al or AZO) thin films are grown using atomic layer deposition (ALD) and the influence of postdeposition UV–ozone and thermal annealing treatments on the films’ properties are investigated. X-ray diffraction (XRD) revealed a polycrystalline wurtzite structure with a preferable (100) orientation. The crystal size increase after the thermal annealing is observed while UV–ozone exposure led to no significant change in crystallinity. The results of the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyses show that a higher amount of oxygen vacancies exists in the ZnO:Al after UV–ozone treatment, and that the ZnO:Al, after annealing, has a lower amount of oxygen vacancies. Important and practical applications of ZnO:Al (such as transparent conductive oxide layer) were found, and its electrical and optical properties demonstrate high tunability after postdeposition treatment, particularly after UV–Ozone exposure, offers a noninvasive and easy way to lower the sheet resistance values. At the same time, UV–Ozone treatment did not cause any significant changes to the polycrystalline structure, surface morphology, or optical properties of the AZO films.

Original languageEnglish
Article number800
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • ALD
  • aluminum-doped ZnO
  • oxygen vacancies
  • transparent conducting oxide
  • UV–ozone
  • XPS


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