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Degradation of Nano-crystalline ITO Films due to Exposure to Hyperthermal Atomic Oxygen

  • Long Li (a1), Ross Harder (a2), Fengting Xu (a3), Ian K. Robinson (a4) and Judith C. Yang (a5)...

Abstract

Indium tin oxide (ITO) films coated on float glass slides were exposed to 5 eV hyperthermal atomic oxygen at room temperature with increasing fluences: 2×1019, 6×1019 and 2×1020 O-atoms/cm2. We characterized the structure of the ITO films after room temperature atomic oxygen exposure with scanning electron microscope (SEM) and atomic force microscope (AFM), synchrotron X-ray diffraction (XRD), and cross-sectional transmission electron microscope (X-TEM). The unexposed ITO films were found to possess a nano-crystalline surface, and clean and abrupt ITO/SiO2 interfaces without interfacial phase. Surface roughness of the exposed ITO films increased with the increasing AO influences. The interface- sensitive peaks in XRD measurements with grazing incidence revealed that the crystallinity of the ITO was modified near the interface. Cross-sectional TEM confirmed that many ITO particles with diameters ranging from 2-10 nm formed in the SiO2 substrate near the interface after AO exposure. These findings suggest that O atoms can travel through the ITO films, where the boundaries of columnar-grown grains may supply the pathway.

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