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Synthesis and Modeling of Uniform Complex Metal Oxides by Close-Proximity Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Vapor Deposition

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journal contribution
posted on 27.05.2015, 00:00 by Robert L. Z. Hoye, David Muñoz-Rojas, Kevin P. Musselman, Yana Vaynzof, Judith L. MacManus-Driscoll
A close-proximity atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition (AP-CVD) reactor is developed for synthesizing high quality multicomponent metal oxides for electronics. This combines the advantages of a mechanically controllable substrate-manifold spacing and vertical gas flows. As a result, our AP-CVD reactor can rapidly grow uniform crystalline films on a variety of substrate types at low temperatures without requiring plasma enhancements or low pressures. To demonstrate this, we take the zinc magnesium oxide (Zn1–xMgxO) system as an example. By introducing the precursor gases vertically and uniformly to the substrate across the gas manifold, we show that films can be produced with only 3% variation in thickness over a 375 mm2 deposition area. These thicknesses are significantly more uniform than for films from previous AP-CVD reactors. Our films are also compact, pinhole-free, and have a thickness that is linearly controllable by the number of oscillations of the substrate beneath the gas manifold. Using photoluminescence and X-ray diffraction measurements, we show that for Mg contents below 46 at. %, single phase Zn1–xMgxO was produced. To further optimize the growth conditions, we developed a model relating the composition of a ternary oxide with the bubbling rates through the metal precursors. We fitted this model to the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measured compositions with an error of Δx = 0.0005. This model showed that the incorporation of Mg into ZnO can be maximized by using the maximum bubbling rate through the Mg precursor for each bubbling rate ratio. When applied to poly­(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) hybrid solar cells, our films yielded an open-circuit voltage increase of over 100% by controlling the Mg content. Such films were deposited in short times (under 2 min over 4 cm2).