The band gap energy of ZnTe1-xOx alloy films grown on c-plane sapphire substrates was modulated by controlling the argon-oxygen ratio during radio frequency magnetron sputtering. The ZnTe1-xOx samples were deposited at a substrate temperature of 200 °C and with gas mixtures of 2%–8% oxygen in argon. The optical transparency of the ZnTe1-xOx samples was measured in the 1.5–6.0 eV energy range by optical transmission spectra. The optical band gap, obtained from plots of (αhν)2 as a function of hν, increased from 2.2 to 4.9 eV with increasing oxygen ratio, believed to be a result of a change in bonding structure through composition exchange during film deposition by reactive magnetron sputtering. These results show that the band gap energy of ZnTe1-xOx, ZnOTeO, and (ZnO)1-x(TeO2)x alloy films can be modulated, making them more suited for applications as windows and as active layers for ZnTe-based intermediate band solar cells.

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