Tailoring SnO2, (Mg,Zn)O, and Ga:(Mg,Zn)O Electro-Optical Properties and Stability for Solar Cells

Brian Good, Tursun Ablekim, Imran Khan, Matthew Reese, Andriy Zakutayev, Wyatt Metzger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


The electron density, mobility, bandgap and band alignment of transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) can be tailored by adjusting composition and stoichiometry, thereby enabling interface engineering for diverse semiconductor applications. For example, solar cell efficiency can change enormously by adjusting TCO properties. At the same time, these TCO properties can shift during the deposition of other layers, anneals and device operation. An ideal TCO should have tunable but stable electro-optical properties. Here, we deposit SnO2, (Mg,Zn)O (MZO), and Ga:(Mg,Zn)O (GMZO) films on glass and measure their electro-optical characteristics before and after reducing, inert, oxidizing and CdCl2 anneals over a range of temperatures. Electron density generally increases in the progression from oxidizing to inert and reducing ambients. SnO2 is relatively stable compared to MZO but has less flexibility for interface engineering. We investigate GMZO as a similar but more stable alternative to MZO. The addition of Ga to MZO has significant effects on electron density and improves electro-optical stability, which can be advantageous for semiconductor applications. Furthermore, we demonstrate that GMZO can be readily incorporated into solar cells.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number034002
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 IOP Publishing Ltd.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-77059


  • annealing
  • electronic band structure
  • Hall effect
  • optical properties
  • semiconductors
  • solar cells
  • transparent conducting oxides


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