Physical properties of solution processable n-type Fe and Al co-doped ZnO nanostructured thin films: Role of Al doping levels and annealing
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The role of annealing temperature and Fe and Al co-doping on structural, optical, electrical and magnetic properties of solution processable ZnO thin films were investigated. ZnO:Fe thin films fixed with 2% of typical ferrous component were obtained to examine the role of 1–10% Al doping. X-ray diffraction analyses clearly indicates that the films to be polycrystalline and preferentially oriented along the c-axis of the hexagonal wurtzite structure. The film thickness, homogeneous distribution and decreasing/increasing of grain size dependence on Al content/annealing temperature (TA) were assessed by scanning electron microscopy. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed that Al3+ and Fe2+ ions to substitute for Zn2+ without changing the wurtzite structure. A slight decrease in the optical band gap of ZnO at fixed Fe dopant and a considerable increase of the optical band gap with increased Al doping concentrations and TA were observed. The refractive index increases with the fixed Fe dopant level and then decreases by Al doping levels, whereas the extinction coefficient clearly increases depended on both of Fe and Al concentrations. The refractive index and extinction coefficient both decrease with TA. Hall measurements show n-type conductivity and the increase of charge carrier concentration by Al doping levels and TA. Magnetic studies indicate room temperature ferromagnetism in Al and Fe co-doped ZnO thin films, whereas no room temperature ferromagnetism for the Fe-doped ZnO thin films was observed. An enhanced room temperature ferromagnetism in Al and Fe co-doped ZnO thin films was observed to depend on TA.