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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2011 Jun;3(6):1974-9. doi: 10.1021/am200197a. Epub 2011 May 31.

A codoping route to realize low resistive and stable p-type conduction in (Li, Ni):ZnO thin films grown by pulsed laser deposition.

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  • 1Department of Physics, Nano Functional Materials Technology Centre, Materials Science Research Centre, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Chennai-600036, India.


We report on the growth of Li-Ni codoped p-type ZnO thin films using pulsed laser deposition. Two mole percent Li monodoped ZnO film shows highly insulating behavior. However, a spectacular decrease in electrical resistivity, from 3.6 × 10(3) to 0.15 Ω cm, is observed by incorporating 2 mol % of Ni in the Li-doped ZnO film. Moreover, the activation energy drops to 6 meV from 78 meV with Ni incorporation in Li:ZnO lattice. The codoped [ZnO:(Li, Ni)] thin film shows p-type conduction with room temperature hole concentration of 3.2 × 10(17) cm(-3). Photo-Hall measurements show that the Li-Ni codoped p-ZnO film is highly stable even with UV illumination. XPS measurements reveal that most favorable chemical state of Ni is Ni(3+) in (Li, Ni): ZnO. We argue that these Ni(3+) ions act as reactive donors and increase the Li solubility limit. Codoping of Li, with other transitional metal ions (Mn, Co, etc.) in place of Ni could be the key to realize hole-dominated conductivity in ZnO to envisage ZnO-based homoepitaxial devices.

© 2011 American Chemical Society

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