Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Abstract Indium-tin-oxide films (ITO films) sputtered in Ar-atmosphere with and without addition of oxygen reveal an irreversible increase in conductivity during annealing in vacuum. This annealing process increases drastically the density of free electrons, while the Hall mobility changes only slightly. Below the annealing temperature the temperature dependence of the conductivity is reversible. In films with low density of free electrons, which behave like non-degenerated semiconductors, two activation energies for the mobility could be found. The irreversible changes, observed during annealing in the vacuum, are explained by diffusion of oxygen from the interior of the film to the surface, followed by desorption of the oxygen from the surface into the vacuum. The excess oxygen in the non-stoichiometric films plays the role of electron traps. The irreversible effects during annealing in the vacuum are partly reversible in the long run. If the annealed films are exposed to oxygen or air their conductivity decreases because of diffusion of oxygen from the surface into the film.
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