Development and characterisation of solution processed vanadium oxide and transparent metal oxide thin films

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Glynn, Colm
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University College Cork
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Metal oxide thin films are important for modern electronic devices ranging from thin film transistors to photovoltaics and functional optical coatings. Solution processed techniques allow for thin films to be rapidly deposited over a range of surfaces without the extensive processing of comparative vapour or physical deposition methods. The production of thin films of vanadium oxide prepared through dip-coating was developed enabling a greater understanding of the thin film formation. Mechanisms of depositing improved large area uniform coverage on a number of technologically relevant substrates were examined. The fundamental mechanism for polymer-assisted deposition in improving thin film surface smoothness and long range order has been delivered. Different methods were employed for adapting the alkoxide based dip-coating technique to produce a variety of amorphous and crystalline vanadium oxide based thin films. Using a wide range of material, spectroscopic and optical measurement techniques the morphology, structure and optoelectronic properties of the thin films were studied. The formation of pinholes on the surface of the thin films, due to dewetting and spinodal effects, was inhibited using the polymer assisted deposition technique. Uniform thin films with sub 50 nm thicknesses were deposited on a variety of substrates controlled through alterations to the solvent-alkoxide dilution ratios and employing polymer assisted deposition techniques. The effects of polymer assisted deposition altered the crystallized VO thin films from a granular surface structure to a polycrystalline structure composed of high density small in-plane grains. The formation of transparent VO based thin film through Si and Na substrate mediated diffusion highlighted new methods for material formation and doping.
AFM , SEM , TEM , Inter-diffusion , Thin films , Vanadium oxide , UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy , Raman scattering spectroscopy , Solution processed
Glynn, C. 2016. Development and characterisation of solution processed vanadium oxide and transparent metal oxide thin films. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.