Defects and Properties of Cadmium Oxide Based Transparent Conductors

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • D. M. Detert
  • Guibin Chen
  • Wei Zhu
  • Chaoping Liu
  • S. Grankowska
  • L. Hsu
  • O. D. Dubon
  • Wladek Walukiewicz


Original languageEnglish
Article number181501
Journal / PublicationJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number18
Online publishedApr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2016



Transparent conductors play an increasingly important role in a number of semiconductor technologies. This paper reports on the defects and properties of Cadmium Oxide, a transparent conducting oxide which can be potentially used for full spectrum photovoltaics. We carried out a systematic investigation on the effects of defects in CdO thin films undoped and intentionally doped with In and Ga under different deposition and annealing conditions. We found that at low growth temperatures (<200 °C), sputter deposition tends to trap both oxygen vacancies and compensating defects in the CdO film resulting in materials with high electron concentration of ∼2 × 1020/cm3 and mobility in the range of 40–100 cm2/V s. Thermal annealing experiments in different ambients revealed that the dominating defects in sputtered CdO films are oxygen vacancies. Oxygen rich CdO films grown by sputtering with increasing O2 partial pressure in the sputter gas mixture results in films with resistivity from ∼4 × 10−4 to >1 Ω cm due to incorporation of excess O in the form of O-related acceptor defects, likely to be O interstitials. Intentional doping with In and Ga donors leads to an increase of both the electron concentration and the mobility. With proper doping CdO films with electron concentration of more than 1021 cm−3 and electron mobility higher than 120 cm2/V s can be achieved. Thermal annealing of doped CdO films in N2 ambient can further improve the electrical properties by removing native acceptors and improving film crystallinity. Furthermore, the unique doping behavior and electrical properties of CdO were explored via simulations based on the amphoteric defect model. A comparison of the calculations and experimental results show that the formation energy of native donors and acceptors at the Fermi stabilization energy is ∼1 eV and that the mobility of sputtered deposited CdO is limited by a background acceptor concentration of ∼5–6 × 1020/cm3. The calculations offer an insight into understanding of the effects of defects on electrical properties of undoped and doped CdO and offer a potential to use similar methods to analyze doping and defect properties of other semiconductor materials. Published by AIP Publishing.

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Defects and Properties of Cadmium Oxide Based Transparent Conductors. / Yu, Kin Man; Detert, D. M.; Chen, Guibin et al.
In: Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 119, No. 18, 181501, 14.05.2016.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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