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Unraveling the conduction mechanism of Al-doped ZnO films by valence band soft x-ray photoemission spectroscopy

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7 Author(s)
Gabas, Mercedes ; Departamento de Física Aplicada I, Universidad de Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain ; Gota, Susana ; Ramos-Barrado, Jose Ramon ; Sanchez, Miguel
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We report on the correlation between the electrical behavior and valence band spectra of undoped and Al-doped ZnO films, obtained by using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Although Al-doping can induce a conductivity increase of two orders of magnitude, we show that the gap persists and there is no semiconductor–metal transition upon doping. For the 3% Al-doped ZnO film, we measure a reduction in the band gap of ∼150 meV with respect to the undoped and the 1% doped films. Our results suggest that the band conduction mechanism proposed for undoped ZnO at room temperature still dominates the conduction process in doped films.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:86 ,  Issue: 4 )