Fabrication of Nanopillar Crystalline ITO Thin Films With High Transmittance and IR Reflectance by RF Magnetron Sputtering

Materials (Basel). 2019 Mar 22;12(6):958. doi: 10.3390/ma12060958.


Nanopillar crystalline indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were deposited on soda-lime glass substrates by radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering under the power levels of 100 W, 150 W, 200 W and 250 W. The preparation process of thin films is divided into two steps, firstly, sputtering a very thin and granular crystalline film at the bottom, and then sputtering a nanopillar crystalline film above the bottom film. The structure, morphology, optical and electrical properties of the nanopillar crystalline ITO thin films were investigated. From X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, the nanopillar crystalline thin films shows (400) preferred orientation. Due to the effect of the bottom granular grains, the crystallinity of the nanopillar crystals on the upper layer was greatly improved. The nanopillar crystalline ITO thin films exhibited excellent electrical properties, enhanced visible light transmittance and a highly infrared reflectivity in the mid-infrared region. It is noted that the thin film deposited at 200 W showed the best combination of optical and electrical performance, with resistivity of 1.44 × 10-4 Ω cm, average transmittance of 88.49% (with a film thickness of 1031 nm) and IR reflectivity reaching 89.18%.

Keywords: IR reflectance; RF magnetron sputtering; indium tin oxide thin film; nanopillar crystalline; transmittance.