Effect of thermal processing on silver thin films of varying thickness deposited on zinc oxide and indium tin oxide

K. Sivaramakrishnan, A. T. Ngo, S. Iyer, Terry Alford

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Silver films of varying thicknesses (25, 45, and 60 nm) were deposited on indium tin oxide (ITO) on silicon and zinc oxide (ZnO) on silicon. The films were annealed in vacuum for 1 h at different temperatures (300-650 °C). Four-point-probe measurements were used to determine the resistivity of the films. All films showed an abrupt change in resistivity beyond an onset temperature that varied with thickness. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry measurements revealed agglomeration of the Ag films upon annealing as being responsible for the resistivity change. X-ray pole figure analysis determined that the annealed films took on a preferential 〈 111 〉 texturing; however, the degree of texturing was significantly higher in Ag/ZnO/Si than in Ag/ITO/Si samples. This observation was accounted for by interface energy minimization. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements revealed an increasing surface roughness of the annealed films with temperature. The resistivity behavior was explained by the counterbalancing effects of increasing crystallinity and surface roughness. Average surface roughness obtained from the AFM measurements were also used to model the agglomeration of Ag based on Ostwald ripening theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063525
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 9 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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