Phosphorus doped SnO2 thin films for transparent conducting oxide applications: synthesis, optoelectronic properties and computational models†
Phosphorus doped tin(IV) oxide (P:SnO2) films have been synthesised by an aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition route. Triethyl phosphate was used as the phosphorus dopant source. The phosphorus concentration in solution was found to be key to electrical properties, with concentrations between 0.25–0.5 mol% phosphorus giving the lowest resistivities of the deposited films. The conductivity of the films synthesised improved on doping SnO2 with phosphorus, with resistivity values of 7.27 × 10−4 Ω cm and sheet resistance values of 18.2 Ω □−1 achieved for the most conductive films. Phosphorus doping up to 1.0 mol% was shown to improve visible light transmission of the deposited films. The phosphorus doping also had a significant effect on film morphology, with varying microstructures achieved. The films were characterised by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, UV/vis spectroscopy, Hall effect measurements and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The data generated was used to build computational models of phosphorus as a dopant for SnO2, showing that the phosphorus acts as a shallow one-electron n-type donor allowing for good conductivities. Phosphorus does not suffer from self-compensation issues associated with other dopants, such as fluorine.