Laser processing of inkjet printed and RF magnetron sputtered SNO2:Sb

Wilson, S.L., 2008. Laser processing of inkjet printed and RF magnetron sputtered SNO2:Sb. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The desire for flexible electronics, in particular, flexible displays is driving research into processing methods that would enable the application of a range of functional materials to low temperature substrates. Transparent Conducting Oxides are materials which typically require thermal annealing or deposition at elevated temperatures to obtain suitable characteristics. Sputter deposited Indium Tin Oxide (ITO or In2O3:SnO2) is the most common transparent conductor material, but indium is relatively scarce and therefore expensive. Antimony Tin Oxide (ATO or SnO2:Sb) is a promising alternative that, in the present study, has been formulated into an inkjet printable solution for direct-write patterning and for the first time the novel method of laser processing has been shown to improve the characteristics via a technique that could be used with low temperature substrates.

Films of inkjet printed SnO2:Sb have been laser processed using a KrF UV Excimer laser emitting at 248nm. The electrical and optical properties of the films have been investigated for a range of laser fluences and number of pulses. A morphological examination has also been undertaken using x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, RF magnetron sputtered films of SnO2:Sb deposited onto a flexible substrate (Cronar) have been laser processed to provide a comparator. The electrical, optical and morphological characteristics of these films have also been investigated.

It has been demonstrated that the electrical properties of both inkjet printed and RF magnetron sputtered films of SnO2:Sb can be improved with laser processing. The conductivity of inkjet printed films was improved by two orders of magnitude, while RF magnetron sputtered films underwent a 1.5 fold improvement. Increases in crystallinity were observed for laser processed inkjet printed films and electron microscopy showed an area of densification consistent with the expected optical penetration depth. Shifts in the IR end of the transmission spectrum indicated an increase in carrier concentration. In contrast, no increases in crystallinity nor areas of densification were detectable with RF magnetron sputtered films and there was no apparent shift in the IR end of the transmission spectra. The mechanisms for improvement in the conductivity of the films are discussed in terms of increasing the carrier concentration and mobility of inkjet printed films, and reducing die defect regions for the RF magnetron sputtered films.

Item Type: Thesis
Description: This research programme was carried out in collaboration with Keeling & Walker Ltd and PTL Ltd.
Creators: Wilson, S.L.
Date: 2008
ISBN: 9781369316650
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author, and may also be owned by the research sponsor(s) and/or Nottingham Trent University. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed in the first instance to the author.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 30 Sep 2020 11:40
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2023 15:26

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