Triple-Layer Coatings Prepared by Magnetron Sputtering as Replacement of AZO Films for Photovoltaic Applications

Triple-Layer Coatings Prepared by Magnetron Sputtering as Replacement of AZO Films for Photovoltaic Applications

Stella Maris Van Eek
S. Kumar
FHR

Indium-tin oxide (ITO) films are used as transparent conductive oxides (TCO) for optoelectronic applications. There is an actual need driven by the high cost of this coating, of replacing ITO with an alternative TCO. In this work the structure Al-doped ZnO (AZO) AZO/Ag/AZO is characterized as a candidate for replacing ITO films. The samples were prepared using different Ag thicknesses. The structure of the films was characterized using Rutherford backscattering analysis, X Rays diffraction, TEM, SEM and AFM. The AZO/Ag/AZO structure allows a low sheet resistance of around 10 O/sq and a visible transmission above 80% achieved with an overall thickness of ~110 nm. The optimization of front AZO thickness helps to reduce reflection via destructive interferences. The adhesion strength of the stacks can be improved by modifying top AZO deposition conditions. The annealing studies confirm good thermal stabilities of the fabricated sandwich structure.