Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science

    • ZnO thin films prepared by RF plasma chemical vapour transport for self-cleaning and transparent conducting coatings


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      ZnO thin films were prepared by chemical vapour transport method in inductively coupled plasma (ICP). The films were synthesized at different substrate positions and various oxygen/argon ratios. X-ray diffraction (XRD) revealed that all the synthesized films at different positions are mixture of hexagonal ZnO and hexagonal Zn phases. The relative peak integrated intensity (RPII) of the ZnO phase is 83.6, 25.3 and 45.3%, for positions 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Morphology of ZnO films was found to be sensitive to substrate position. Flat flakes, bended nanowires (NWs) and nanoparticles morphologies are observed for positions 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The sample synthesized at 1 is stoichiometric, whereas the samples prepared in positions 2 and 3 are sub-stoichiometric. The films prepared at positions 1 and 3 have relatively high transmittance and low reflectance values, whereas the film prepared at position 2 has low transmittance and high reflectance. The ZnO film prepared at position 2 is hydrophobic with water contact angle of $112.2^\circ$, which can be used as self-cleaning coating. For ZnO films prepared with various O$_2$ ratios, the RPII was 83.2, 88.0, 96.4 and 100% for films prepared with 10, 20, 30 and 40%, respectively. With increasing O$_2$ ratio, the nanograins became bigger and the stoichiometry improved. The transmittance and optical bandgap increased, whereas the reflectance and refractive index decreased with increase in O$_2$ ratio. The ZnO film synthesized with 30% O$_2$ ratio has the highest figure ofmerit (F$_{OM}$) value; thus, this film may be considered as the best ZnO film for transparent conducting coating applications.

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