Phase separation in Ga and N co-incorporated ZnO films and its effects on photo-response in photoelectrochemical water splitting

Sudhakar Shet, Kwang Soon Ahn, Ravindra Nuggehalli, Yanfa Yan, John Turner, Mowafak Al-Jassim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ga and N co-incorporated ZnO thin films [ZnO:(Ga:N)] with reduced bandgaps were deposited by co-sputtering at different N2 gas flow rate in mixed N2 and O2 ambient at room temperature followed by postannealing at 500 °C in air for 2 h. We found that all of the ZnO:(Ga:N) films exhibited enhanced crystallinity which can suppress the recombination rate between the photogenerated electrons and holes. However, phase segregation of Zn3N2 occurred in ZnO:(Ga:N) thin films in nitrogen-rich sputtering ambient. We found that ZnO:(Ga:N) thin films without phase separation of Zn3N2 exhibited much better photoelectrochemical (PEC) response, due to the reduced bandgap and better crystallinity. Our results suggest that growth conditions must be controlled carefully to avoid phase separation in Ga and N co-incorporated ZnO thin films to improve PEC response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5983-5987
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Volume519
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

Keywords

  • Band gap
  • Co-doping
  • Gas ambient
  • Phase separation
  • Photoelectrochemistry
  • Sputtering
  • X-ray diffraction
  • Zinc oxide

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