Enhanced optoelectronic properties of magnetron sputtered ITO/Ag/ITO multilayers by electro-annealing
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CitationUyanik, Z., Turkoglu, F., Koseoglu, H., Ekmekcioglu, M., Ata, B., Demirhan, Y., Ozdemir, M., Aygun, G., Ozyuzer, L. (2022). Enhanced optoelectronic properties of magnetron sputtered ITO/Ag/ITO multilayers by electro-annealing. Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B, 40 (4), art. no. 042204. https://doi.org/10.1116/6.0001868
Indium tin oxide/silver/indium tin oxide (ITO/Ag/ITO) multilayers have attracted much attention to fulfill the growing need for high-performance transparent conducting oxide electrodes. To make these transparent multilayers work better, electro-annealing, which is a method of self-heating by electric current, can be effective. Moreover, the effect of current on ITO/Ag/ITO multilayers should be investigated to make sure that electronic devices will be reliable over their lifetime. In this study, ITO/Ag/ITO multilayer electrodes with varying Ag thicknesses were grown by DC magnetron sputtering at room temperature. Structural, optical, and electrical properties of these multilayers were investigated before and after electro-annealing. Measurement results revealed that improved optical transmittance and sheet resistance can be obtained by the optimization of Ag thickness for the as-grown ITO/Ag/ITO layers. The highest figure of merit (FoM) value of 17.37 × 10-3 ω-1 with optical transmittance of 85.15% in the visible region and sheet resistance of 11.54 ω/□ was obtained for the Ag thickness of 16.5 nm for as-grown samples. The electro-annealing of as-grown ITO/Ag/ITO multilayers led to improved optical behavior of the multilayer structure over a wide spectral range, especially in the near-infrared range. Electro-annealing also provided an improvement in the crystallinity and sheet resistance of the electrodes. The improvement of the electrical and optical properties of the structure enabled a FoM of 23.07 × 10-3 ω-1 with the optical transmittance of 86.80% in the visible region and sheet resistance of 10.52 ω/□. The findings of this work provide proper knowledge of the properties of ITO/Ag/ITO multilayers under electrical current and suggest that the overall performance of the multilayers can be improved by the electro-annealing process.