Discharge diagnosis and controlled deposition of SnO<inf>x</inf>:F films by DC-reactive sputtering from a metallic tin target

A. Martel, F. Caballero-Briones, J. Fandiño, R. Castro-Rodríguez, P. Bartolo-Pérez, A. Zapata-Navarro, M. Zapata-Torres, J. L. Peña

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Fluorine-doped tin oxide (SnOx:F) films on glass substrates have been prepared by reactive magnetron DC-sputtering in Ar-O2-Freon plasma from a metallic tin target. We studied the relationship between the discharge characteristics and film properties and found the discharge conditions in which the films belong to the SnO2 or to the SnO stoichiometry, by proposing a phase diagram for this system. We showed that the film stoichiometry is closely related to the tin valence changes at the target. We found that there is a narrow voltage band and a limit value in the oxygen content where the films have SnO2 stoichiometry; outside this region SnO films are obtained. We studied the crystallinity and the optical properties of the SnO2 films. The results show that crystalline films have cassiterite-like diffraction patterns with preferred orientation in the (110) planes. The crystallinity of the films is improved when the discharge voltage and oxygen content increase. A thermal annealing of the amorphous films at 500°C leaves them in the crystalline cassiterite-like form. The films have a transmittance of ~80% in the visible region of the spectrum and a uniform thickness. © 1999 Elsevier Science S.A.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)136-142
Number of pages121
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
StatePublished - 15 Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


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