Argon (Ar) plasma treatment was carried out to reduce the sheet resistance of indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films. The Ar plasma treatment did not cause any significant changes to the crystal structure, surface morphology, or optical properties of the ITO thin films. However, an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study confirmed that the concentration of oxygen vacancies in the film dramatically increased with the plasma treatment time. Thus, we concluded that the decrease in the sheet resistance was caused by the increase in the oxygen vacancy concentration in the film. Furthermore, to verify how the concentration of oxygen vacancies in the film increased with the Ar plasma treatment time, cumulative and continuous plasma treatments were conducted. The oxygen vacancies were found to be created by surface heating via the outward thermal diffusion of oxygen atoms from inside the film.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Surfaces and Interfaces
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films