Radio frequency sputtered Al:ZnO-Ag transparent conductor: A plasmonic nanostructure with enhanced optical and electrical properties

Anna Sytchkova, Maria Luisa Grilli, Antonio Rinaldi, Sylvain Vedraine, Philippe Torchio, Angela Piegari, François Flory

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Optimization of metal-based transparent conductors (MTCs) made of silver and aluminium-doped zinc oxide (AZO) prepared by radio-frequency (r.f.) sputtering has been carried out through tuning of metal film properties. The influence of morphology and related plasmonic features of AZO/Ag/AZO MTCs on their optical and electrical performance is demonstrated and it is shown that the nominal thickness of the silver layer itself is not the most crucial value determining the MTC performance. The MTC performance has been optimized by a search of deposition conditions ensuring fractal-type metal layer formation up to a certain coalescence state that enables full gaining from silver optical properties, including its plasmonic features. For 150 W- and 200 W-deposited silver, MTCs with maximum transmittance as high as 83.6% have been obtained. These coatings have a figure of merit as good as 0.01 O-1and a remarkably wide spectral transparency region: transmittance higher than 70% down to 1200 nm for 200W-samples. Modelling of the MTC coatings is proposed additionally, based on variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometric measurements, which takes into account the variation of the optical properties of silver when deposited in various conditions and embedded in a semiconductor stack. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Article number094509
Pages (from-to)-
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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