Crystallization and surface Morphology following annealing using ZnO thin film | Original Article
The glass substrates had ZnO thin films produced on them using a sol-gel dip coating process. All sorts of temperatures, from 350 to 550 degrees Celsius, were used to anneal the films. The impact of annealing temperature on the films' structural and morphological features was studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Different processing conditions are used during manufacturing, all of which might alter the final attributes of a device based on amorphous oxides. Although zinc oxide shows promise as a transparent amorphous oxide, its structure is sensitive to temperature changes. Here, we looked at the phenomenon of surface recrystallization in amorphous zinc oxide layers produced by pulsed laser deposition onto fused silica, sapphire, and Si substrates. Extremely out-of-equilibrium phase structures were found in the three-layer preparation. All the developed ZnO films display strongly (0001)-oriented patterns without in-plane rotation, as evidenced by in situ reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED) and ex situ X-ray diffraction (XRD). As evidenced by atomic force microscopy (AFM) pictures, “ridge-like” and “particle-like” surface morphologies are found for the ZnO films formed in a molecular O2 environment with and without an initial deposition of Zn adatoms, respectively, before ZnO development with oxygen plasma. The ultimate surface shape and optical characteristics of the ZnO film are significantly affected by this artificially constructed interfacial layer.