Oxygen deficiency effects on recombination lifetime and photoluminescence characteristics of ZnO thin films; correlation with crystal structure


APPLIED PHYSICS A-MATERIALS SCIENCE & PROCESSING, vol.94, no.3, pp.549-554, 2009 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The photoluminescence (PL), recombination lifetime (RL), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectra of the samples grown at various O-2 fractions of 0.290 (Zn-rich), 0.585 (moderate), and 0.836 (O-rich) over the total pressures in the growth chamber were investigated. XRD measurements revealed that all the films show highly preferred (0002) orientation. The PL measurements exhibit different dominant emissions in the ultraviolet (UV), violet and blue regions for Zn-rich, moderate and O-rich samples, respectively. Well-known green emission and high intensity of free exciton (FX) transition has been observed in Zn-rich sample after the sample is annealed at vacuum probably due to the oxygen deficiencies. Annealing the moderate sample gives rise to the UV emission at energy of 3.263 eV similar to the observed PL emission spectrum for the Zn-rich thin film. O-rich thin film exhibits a 338 meV acceptor level above the valance band maximum, most probably related to zinc vacancy (V-Zn). Free exciton RL measurements result in 568.23, 397.65, and 797.46 ps for Zn-rich, moderate, and O-rich thin films, respectively. A good correlation was found between crystallite size and the lifetime values.