Photo-engineered optoelectronic properties of transparent conductive oxides via reactive laser annealing (ReLA): the consequence of defects

Hillier, J.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3784-9337, 2021. Photo-engineered optoelectronic properties of transparent conductive oxides via reactive laser annealing (ReLA): the consequence of defects. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The ongoing development of nanofabrication capabilities ever increases our ability to exploit the light-matter interactions occurring on the nanoscale, promising radical breakthroughs in many technological sectors. This research field, namely plasmonics, faces a major roadblock in respect to realistic applications. Specifically, to translate the potential of plasmonics into practical optical devices, the right set of materials are required; materials that can overcome the loss issue and expand the operational window towards the infrared and (IR) near-IR (NIR) spectral ranges. Transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) are appealing alternatives due to their transparency, refractory character, and maturity in electronic devices. Importantly, their non-stoichiometric character allows for the modulation of their optoelectronic properties through the manipulation of their defects. This research developed the knowledge of the optoelectronic properties of TCOs, via spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) while examining high-throughput methods to tune their transport properties towards the requirements of IR plasmonics. Specifically, this research investigated, for the first time, the utility of reactive laser annealing (ReLA) to probe the crystal structure and donor state variations of sputtered tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) thin films. The demonstration of ReLA comprised an investigation of the role of the laser processing parameters (e.g., laser fluence, number of pulses and ambient composition) with an extensive characterisation methodology comprising: four-point probe, Hall Effect, X-ray diffractometry, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and X-ray photon spectroscopy. In this way, ReLA is established as a novel and versatile tool to tailor the properties of TCO films towards the requirements of potential plasmonic applications. Furthermore, SE in the wide spectral range between 0.034−6.5 eV was employed to get insights on the properties of seed TCO films and the laser-induced modifications, revealing how and why TCOs present challenges both for further elucidating the still not fully known mechanisms that govern their optoelectronic behaviour and for their integration into far-IR plasmonic devices.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Hillier, J.A.
Date: September 2021
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. 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 to the author.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 29 Oct 2021 13:26
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2021 13:26

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