Structural and optical properties of zirconia thin films deposited by reactive high-power impulse magnetron sputtering

Xiaoli Zhao, Jie Jin, Jui Ching Cheng*, Jyh Wei Lee, Kuo Hong Wu, Kuo Cheng Lin, Jung Ruey Tsai, Kou Chen Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

22 Scopus citations


Zirconia films are deposited by reactive high power impulse magnetron sputtering (HiPIMS) technology on glass and indium-tin-oxide (ITO)/glass substrates. Preparation, microstructure and optical characteristics of the films have been studied. During deposition, the influence of the target power and duty cycle on the peak current-voltage and power density has been observed in oxide mode. Transparent thin films under different oxygen proportions are obtained on the two substrates. Atomic force microscopy measurements showed that the surface roughness of the films was lower by reactive HiPIMS than DC sputtering for all oxygen contents. The transmission and reflectance properties of differently grown zirconia films were also investigated using an ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometer. The optical transmittance of films grown on glass substrates by HiPIMS reached maximum values above 90%, which exceeded that by DC sputtering. The band edge near 5.86 eV shifted to a lower wavelength for zirconia films prepared with oxygen flow rates lower than 4.5 sccm. For the films prepared on ITO/glass substrates, the transmittance and the band gap of zirconia films were limited by ITO films; a maximum average transmittance of 84% was obtained at 4.5 sccm O2 and the energy band gap was in the range of 3.7-3.8 eV for oxygen flow rates ranging from 3.5 to 5.0 sccm. Finally, the electrical properties of zirconia films have also been discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-411
Number of pages8
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue numberPB
StatePublished - 03 11 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V.


  • HiPIMS
  • Optical properties
  • Reactive deposition
  • Zirconia


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