Crystallization behavior and origin of c-axis orientation in sol-gel-derived ZnO:Li thin films on glass substrates

Shinobu Fujihara, Chikako Sasaki, Toshio Kimura

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182 Citations (Scopus)


Preferentially, c-axis-oriented lithium-doped zinc oxide (ZnO:Li) thin films were prepared on Pyrex borosilicate glass substrates by a sol-gel method starting from zinc acetate dihydrate, lithium chloride, 2-methoxyethanol and monoethanolamine. Decomposition and crystallization behavior of dip-coated amorphous precursor films during post-annealing treatments were investigated by thermogravimetry-differential thermal analysis (TG-DTA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), optical transmittance measurements, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). It was revealed that the films contained the organic compounds at temperatures up to 300°C, which was the key to the transformation from the amorphous to the crystalline state. Thermodynamical consideration of nucleation and crystal growth was made taking account of surface energies of the film and the glass substrate and an interfacial energy between them. Mechanisms underlying the c-axis orientation were proposed based upon the initial orientation due to nucleation and final growth orientation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-350
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Aug 16


  • Nucleation
  • Orientation
  • Sol-gel
  • Surface energy
  • Thin film
  • Zinc oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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