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Public Seminar of Physics PhD Candidate
posted by Department of Physics for HKU and Public
Event Type: Public Lecture/Forum/Seminar/Workshop/Conference/Symposium
Event Nature: Science & Technology

Event Details

Public Seminar of Physics PhD Candidate

Electrical, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Er-doped ZnO Films Grown by Pulsed Laser Deposition

Speaker: Mr. Fahad AZAD


We have performed a systematic study on the structural, electrical, optical and magnetic properties of Er-doped ZnO grown by the pulsed laser deposition. The effects of oxygen pressure during growth, Er doping concentrations and post-growth annealing treatment were investigated. All the samples identified to have a wurtzite crystal structure of ZnO. A decreasing trend in the value of c-parameter was found with the increase of oxygen pressure during growth. Degradation in the crystalline quality of these samples with the increase in Er concentration was revealed. The surface and cross-sectional morphology of Er-doped films display a polycrystalline structure at high oxygen pressures, and an optimal oxygen pressure was found essential to enhance the surface and cross-sectional morphology in these samples. An optical transmittance of ~97% was observed in the visible range of wavelength (400-800 nm) and a low resistivity of 3.8×10-4 Ωcm in the 1% Er-doped films grown in the absence of oxygen. Moreover, all the Er-doped films studied in the present work showed an optical transmittance of >85% in the visible range of wavelength.

1% Er doped samples were found showing comparatively strong characteristic Er related emission originated from the intra-4f-shell transition. No intra-4f-shell transitions were observed in the samples with very low concentration (0.5%) of Er. An optimized oxygen pressure and annealing at 750˚C were disclosed to be the crucial for the enhanced intra-4f-shell transitions of Er. The Er doping in ZnO enhances the electron concentration (n) of undoped ZnO from ~1018 to ~1020 cm3. A corresponding widening of the band gap due to Burstein-Moss effect was observed in the degenerate n+ samples. Post-growth annealing treatment would lead to dropping of electron concentration and the corresponding decrease of the band gap.

The effect of room temperature hydrogen plasma treatment (HPT) on the optical properties of optically active Er-doped ZnO films was also investigated. It was revealed that the HPT deactivates the Er characteristic emissions and reannealing of the samples after HPT recovers the intra-4f-shell transition 4F9/2→ 4I15/2 and 4S3/2→4I15/2 of Er. As HPT involves surface modification, the loss of Er optical activity indicated the presence of Er optical active centers on the surface of these films. XPS spectra taken on the surface and in the bulk was employed to prove that Er related optical signals that are induced by thermal annealing occur because of the Er atoms residing on the surface of these samples.

Field-sweep measurement was performed on Er-doped ZnO as-grown and annealed samples at 300 K. Increasing the Er content in these films leads to a drop in the value of magnetic moment of these samples. Furthermore, an increase in magnetic moment with oxygen pressure was also observed. Annealing was revealed to degrade magnetic property of Er-doped ZnO. Absence of any bifurcation in the FC/ZFC measurements indicates absence of magnetic nano-particles/phases. Therefore, the observed ferromagnetism was attributed to be an intrinsic property of Er-doped ZnO. The temperature dependent magnetization showed that the curie temperature of as-grown Er-doped ZnO samples is well above room temperature.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Date/Time15/09/2017 15:00-15:30
VenueRm 518, 5/F, Chong Yuet Ming Physics Building, HKU

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Contact Information

Should you have any enquiries, please feel free to contact Ms. Eva Wong by email at or by phone at 2859 2360 or by fax at 2559 9152.