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TitleEffect of bi-layer ratio in ZnO/Al2O3 multilayers on microstructure and functional properties of ZnO nanocrystals embedded in Al2O3 matrix
Author(s)Sekhar, K. C.
Levichev, S.
Buljan, M.
Bernstorff, S.
Kamakshi, Koppole
Chahboun, Adil
Almeida, A.
Moreira, J. A.
Pereira, Mário
Gomes, M. J. M.
Issue date2014
PublisherSpringer Verlag
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing
CitationSekhar, K. C., Levichev, S., Buljan, M., Bernstorff, S., Kamakshi, K., Chahboun, A., . . . Gomes, M. J. M. (2014). Effect of bi-layer ratio in ZnO/Al2O3 multilayers on microstructure and functional properties of ZnO nanocrystals embedded in Al2O3 matrix. Applied Physics a-Materials Science & Processing, 115(1), 283-289. doi: 10.1007/s00339-013-7809-x
Abstract(s)Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanocrystals (NCs) embedded in alumina (Al2O3) matrix were produced via rapid thermal annealing (RTA) of pulsed laser deposited ZnO/Al2O3 multilayered nanostructures. The effect of the thickness ratio (R) between Al2O3 and ZnO in one bi-layer on the microstructure and functional properties of NCs has been investigated. Grazing incidence small angle X-ray scattering confirmed the formation of nanocrystals after RTA. Grazing incidence wide angle X-ray scattering studies revealed that ZnO NCs have a high crystalline quality with (100) as preferred orientation. Tensile strain of NCs decreases with increasing R and is correlated to the distribution of NCs. From Raman analysis, it is noticed that the phonon frequency of the E2 mode, related to the ZnO wurtzite phase, in NCs is shifted towards that of bulk ZnO with increasing R. Photoluminescence studies revealed that the near edge peak position shifts from 382 nm to 371 nm as the ratio R changes from 1.5 to 4 and is attributed to the strain effect. The intensity of emission in the yellow–green region due to defects decreases significantly with increasing R. Current–voltage (I–V ) characteristics of Al/ZnO NCs embedded in Al2O3/n- Si (100)/Al have shown a hysteresis behavior. The increasing width of the hysteresis with increasing R revealed that the origin of the hysteresis might be due to the existence of polar surface charges on well-separated NCs. The highresistance and low-resistance states in I–V hysteresis curves seem to be governed by Fowler–Nordheim tunneling and Schottky emission mechanisms, respectively.
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