Surface characterization and cathodoluminescence degradation of ZnO thin films

E. Hasabeldaim, O. M. Ntwaeaborwa, R. E. Kroon, V. Craciun, E. Coetsee, H. C. Swart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


ZnO thin films were successfully synthesized by the sol-gel method using the spin coater technique. The films were annealed at 600 °C in air for two hours and in Ar/H 2 (5%) flow for 30 and 60 min, respectively. Structural analysis, surface morphology and characterization, as well as optical analysis (photoluminescence and cathodeluminescence (CL)) were done on the samples and discussed in detail. CL degradation during prolonged electron irradiation on the films was also determined. A preferential orientation of the c-axis perpendicular to the surface was observed from X-ray diffraction data showing the peak from the (002) plane for the films annealed in both the air and in the H 2 flow. The film annealed in air exhibited a broad visible emission as well as a strong ultraviolet emission. A single-green emission peak around 511 nm was obtained from the film that was annealed in Ar/H 2 flow for 60 min. The CL study revealed that the intensity of the green emission (511 nm) was very stable during electron bombardment for electron doses of more than 160 C/cm 2 .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412-420
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Annealing
  • Defect emission
  • Sol-gel spin coating
  • ZnO thin films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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