An assessment of sputtered nitrogen-doped nickel oxide for all-oxide transparent optoelectronic applications: The case of hybrid NiO:N/TiO2 heterostructure

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Aivalioti, Chrysa
Papadakis, Alexandros
Manidakis, Emmanouil
Kayambaki, Maria
Androulidaki, Maria
Tsagaraki, Katerina
Pelekanos, Nikolaos T.
Stoumpos, Constantinos
Modreanu, Mircea
Crăciun, Gabriel
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ransition metal oxides present a unique category of materials due to their versatile optical, electrical and mechanical properties. Nickel oxide (NiO) is an intrinsic p-type oxide semiconductor. P-NiO with controllable and reproducible physico-chemical properties, if combined with transparency and low temperature (low-T) fabrication processes, can be fully exploited in many transparent and/or flexible devices for applications, like energy management (production, manipulation, storage), sensing, wearable and health care electronics, etc. Reproducibility, transparency and low-T fabrication processes of p-type NiO are the motivation of this work. Nitrogen is one of the dopants used for modifying the properties of NiO. Until now, nitrogen-doped NiO, has shown inferior properties than those of pure NiO. In this work, we present nitrogen-doped NiO (NiO:N) thin films with enhanced properties compared to those of the undoped NiO. The NiO:N films were grown by sputtering on room-temperature substrates in plasma containing 50% Ar and 50% (O2+N2) gases. The undoped NiO film was oxygen-rich, single-phase cubic NiO, having transmittance less than 20%. Upon doping with nitrogen, the films became more transparent (around 65%), had a wide direct band gap (up to 3.67 eV) and showed clear evidence of indirect band gap, 2.50-2.72 eV, depending on %(O2-N2) in plasma. The changes in the properties of the films such as structural disorder, energy band gap, Urbach states and resistivity were correlated with the incorporation of nitrogen in their structure. The optimum NiO:N film was used to form a diode with spin-coated, mesoporous on top of a compact, TiO2 film. The hybrid NiO:N/TiO2 heterojunction was transparent showing good output characteristics, as deduced using both I-V and Cheung’s methods. The diode’s transparency and characteristics were further enhanced upon thermal treatment and this was attributed to improved NiO:N properties with annealing. Transparent NiO:N films can be realized for all-oxide flexible optoelectronic devices.
NiO , N-doped NiO , Urbach tail , Sputtering , Mesoporous TiO2 , Spin-coating , NiO:N/TiO2 heterojunction , Optical properties , Diode properties
Aivalioti, C., Papadakis, A., Manidakis, E., Kayambaki, M., Androulidaki, M., Tsagaraki, K., Pelekanos, N. T., Stoumpos, C., Modreanu, M., Crăciun, G., Romanitan, C. and Aperathitis, E. (2022) 'An assessment of sputtered nitrogen-doped nickel oxide for all-oxide transparent optoelectronic applications: The case of hybrid NiO:N/TiO2 heterostructure', in Recent Trends in Chemical and Material Sciences Vol. 6. London: B P International, pp. 86-111. doi: 10.9734/bpi/rtcams/v6/1650A