Transparent conducting oxide thin films are used as front contact material for dye-sensitized solar cells. This study investigated the effects of chromium (Cr) and vanadium (V) contents on the chemical and heat stability properties of aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) thin films using pulsed direct current magnetic sputtering on Corning 1737F glass substrates. The experimental results show that Cr and V doping is useful for improving the chemical and thermal stability of AZO films. The energy gap for AZO thin films is between 3.65 and 3.69 eV. The resistivity of the AZO:Cr:V thin film was 4.23 × 10- 4 Ω cm at a Cr/V ratio of 0.30/0.23 wt.%, deposition power of 150 W, working distance of 5.5 cm, substrate temperature of 473 K, working pressure of 0.4 Pa, and frequency of 10 kHz. This value is lesser than (and therefore superior to) the resistivity of SnO2:F (FTO) films (6.5 × 10-4 Ω cm), but greater than that of SnO2:In (ITO) thin films (1.2 × 10-4 Ω cm). The resistivity increased by about 0.27% after electrolyte etching, which is similar to the 0.16% increase observed for the ITO thin film. After a thermal cycle test at 673 K, the resistivity of the AZO:Cr:V film increased to 5.42 × 10-4 Ω cm, which is better than the resistivity of the ITO and FTO films after the same thermal cycle.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry