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Broad-Spectrum Ultrathin-Metal-Based Oxide/Metal/Oxide Transparent Conductive Films for Optoelectronic Devices

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journal contribution
posted on 07.12.2021, 00:29 authored by Zhang Liu, Yalu Zou, Chengang Ji, Xinliang Chen, Guofu Hou, Cong Zhang, Xiangjian Wan, L. Jay Guo, Ying Zhao, Xiaodan Zhang
High-quality transparent conductive materials are beneficial to improve the charge transfer and light transmittance and reduce the interface defects as well as the production cost of optoelectronic devices. A high threshold thickness of metal layer in oxide/metal/oxide (OMO) compound thin films leads to strong reflectance, especially in the near-infrared region, limiting the broad-spectrum device applications. Here, we propose a novel Zn doping strategy using the low-cost single-target sputtering technology to achieve the growth of Ag–Zn thin films (i.e., Zn-doped Ag) and introduce a trace amount of O2 to further obtain ultrathin Ag–Zn­(O) films (thin-film thickness d ≤ 5 nm), which greatly improves the broad-spectrum characteristics of OMO films. Heterogeneous metal and gas doping technology effectively promotes the formation of two-dimensional continuous film growth. By combining the ultrathin Ag–Zn­(O) layer with the MGZO (i.e., Mg- and Ga co-doped ZnO) oxide film grown by reactive plasma deposition, a typical broad-spectrum MGZO/Ag–Zn­(O)/MGZO (50/5/50 nm)-OMO compound thin film exhibits an average transmittance of 91.6% in the wavelength range of 400–1200 nm and low sheet resistance. The broad-spectrum organic solar cells based on MGZO/Ag–Zn­(O)/MGZO electrodes present a high power conversion efficiency of 15.35%, superior to those devices based on single-layer oxide electrodes. The distinguished performances are attributed to the ultrathin Ag–Zn­(O) films in OMO, paving the way for applications in broad-spectrum optoelectronic and flexible electronic devices.

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