Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

David Cann

Second Advisor

Xiaoli Tan


Transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) are important materials widely used for transparent contacts in flat panel displays, light emitting diodes, and solar cells. While Sn-doped In2O3 (ITO) continues to be the TCO of choice, the increasing cost of raw In has resulted in an increasing interest in developing In-free alternatives to ITO. In this work, two metal oxide systems were investigated for their viability as In-free TCO materials;First, Nb- or Ta-doped anatase TiO2 was selected due to the recent reports of high conductivity in pulse laser deposited (PLD) films. Thin films doped with either 15 mol% Nb or 20 mol% Ta were deposited on glass and SrTiO3 (STO) substrates using RF magnetron sputtering techniques. In all cases, maximum conductivity was achieved when the films crystallized in the anatase structure of TiO2. Films sputtered on STO possessed similar electrical and optical properties as PLD films on STO, yet at a much lower deposition temperature while films deposited on glass had much lower conductivity, due to dramatically reduced mobility. Two-dimensional x-ray diffraction analysis showed that doped TiO2 films sputter deposited on STO were biaxially textured along the (004) direction. This texturing was not observed in films deposited on glass, which were composed of randomly-oriented crystalline anatase. Biaxial texturing in the film helps to reduce grain boundary resistance, thereby increasing carrier mobility and further enhancing conductivity;The Cu-based delafossite system (CuBO2, B is a 3+ metal cation) was selected as the second TCO material system due to its natural p-type conductivity, a rarity among existing TCOs. Study of this system was two-pronged: (1) application of codoping techniques to achieve bipolar conductivity; and (2) investigate stability of mixed B cation delafossites. CuAlO2 and CuGaO2 were both codoped with varying ratios of donors and acceptors in an attempt to achieve bipolar conductivity. Very little change in the electrical properties of the two materials was observed. Synthesis of multiple mixed B cation delafossite compositions was attempted. Through the course of investigation, it was determined that stability of the delafossite phase is likely controlled by the electrical properties of the metal cations.



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Copyright Owner

Meagen Anne Gillispie



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152 pages