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Improvement of Transparent Conducting Performance on Oxygen-Activated Fluorine-Doped Tin Oxide Electrodes Formed by Horizontal Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis Deposition

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-12-01, 00:00 authored by Bon-Ryul Koo, Dong-Hyeun Oh, Doh-Hyung Riu, Hyo-Jin Ahn
In this study, highly transparent conducting fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) electrodes were fabricated using the horizontal ultrasonic spray pyrolysis deposition. In order to improve their transparent conducting performances, we carried out oxygen activation by adjusting the ratio of O2/(O2+N2) in the carrier gas (0%, 20%, and 50%) used during the deposition process. The oxygen activation on the FTO electrodes accelerated the substitution concentration of F (FO) into the oxygen sites in the FTO electrode while the oxygen vacancy (VO) concentration was reduced. In addition, due to growth of pyramid-shaped crystallites with (200) preferred orientations, this oxygen activation caused the formation of a uniform surface structure. As a result, compared to others, the FTO electrode prepared at 50% O2 showed excellent electrical and optical properties (sheet resistance of ∼4.0 ± 0.14 Ω/□, optical transmittance of ∼85.3%, and figure of merit of ∼5.09 ± 0.19 × 10–2 Ω–1). This led to a superb photoconversion efficiency (∼7.03 ± 0.20%) as a result of the improved short-circuit current density. The photovoltaic performance improvement can be defined by the decreased sheet resistance of FTO used as a transparent conducting electrode in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), which is due to the combined effect of the high carrier concentration by the improved FO concentration on the FTO electrodes and the fasted Hall mobility by the formation of a uniform FTO surface structure and distortion relaxation on the FTO lattices resulting from the reduced VO concentration.