In this contribution, based on the analyses of the discharge behavior as well as final properties of the deposited Ni-O films during reactive high power impulse magnetron sputtering discharge, we have demonstrated that monitoring the oxygen flow rate leads to 4 different regimes of discharge. Tuning the oxygen partial pressure allows deposition of a large range of chemical compositions from pure nickel to nickel-deficient NiOx (x > 1) in the poisoned mode. Investigation of the plasma dynamics by time-resolved optical emission spectroscopy suggests that the discharge behavior in the poisoned mode principally comes from the higher contribution of both oxygen and argon ions in the total ionic current, leading to a change in the ion induced secondary electron emission coefficient. Additionally, material characterizations have revealed that optoelectronic properties of NiOx films can be easily tuned by adjusting the O/Ni ratio, which is influenced by the change of the oxygen flow rate. Stoichiometric NiO films (O/Ni ratio ∼ 1) are transparent in the visible range with a transmittance ∼80% and insulating as expected with an electrical resistivity ∼106 Ω cm. On the other hand, increasing the O/Ni > 1 leads to the deposition of more conductive coating (ρ ∼ 10 Ω cm) films with a lower transmittance ∼ 50%. These optoelectronic evolutions are accompanied by a band-gap narrowing 3.65 to 3.37 eV originating from the introduction of acceptor states between the Fermi level and the valence band maximum. In addition, our analysis has demonstrated that nickel vacancies are homogeneously distributed over the film thickness, explaining the p-type of the films.
Process- and optoelectronic-control of NiOx thin films deposited by reactive high power impulse magnetron sputtering
Julien Keraudy, Brice Delfour-Peyrethon, Axel Ferrec, Javier Garcia Molleja, Mireille Richard-Plouet, Christophe Payen, Jonathan Hamon, Benoît Corraze, Antoine Goullet, Pierre-Yves Jouan; Process- and optoelectronic-control of NiOx thin films deposited by reactive high power impulse magnetron sputtering. J. Appl. Phys. 7 May 2017; 121 (17): 171916. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4978349
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