Hydrogen passivation effect in nitrogen-doped ZnO thin films

Li, Xiaonan; Keyes, Brian; Asher, Sally; Zhang, S. B.; Wei, Su-Huai; Coutts, Timothy J.; Limpijumnong, Sukit; Van de Walle, Chris G.
March 2005
Applied Physics Letters;3/21/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 12, p122107
Academic Journal
The role of hydrogen in nitrogen-doped ZnO thin films was studied by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) absorption and modeled by first-principles calculations to understand the difficulty of doping ZnO p-type with nitrogen. Nitrogen-doped ZnO films were fabricated by low-pressure metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). High levels of nitrogen incorporation were observed, but the acceptor concentrations remained low. Theoretical analysis suggests there is a high probability that NO- and H+ charged defects combine to form the neutral defect complexes, thereby compensating the nitrogen-related acceptors. Calculated values of the vibrational frequencies of the related infrared modes agree well with the measured spectra. Thus, we believe the difficulty of achieving p-type doping in MOCVD-grown ZnO films is due, at least partially, to inadvertent passivation by hydrogen.


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