Zinc oxide crystals grown by the seeded chemical vapor transport method have been annealed in zinc vapor at 1100 °C for 30 min. These thermochemical reduction treatments produce a deep red coloration in the crystals and increase their n-type electrical conductivity. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), optical absorption, and Hall measurements were used to monitor changes in the crystals. After an anneal, an intense optical absorption band is present that extends from the band edge out to approximately 550 nm, and the EPR signal near g=1.96 (due to shallow donors and/or conduction-band electrons), the free-carrier absorption, and the Hall electron concentration are all larger. Hydrogen was not present during these anneals, thus leaving oxygen vacancies and zinc interstitials as candidates for the added donors. Neutral oxygen vacancies are produced at high temperature by the additive-coloration mechanism, and are responsible for the broad near-edge absorption band. The observed increase in the number of free carriers is a result of either (1) the formation of zinc interstitials or (2) having the ground state of the neutral oxygen vacancy near the conduction band.

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