Piezoelectric Properties of Zinc Oxide Thin Films Grown by Plasma‐Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition

Publication from Materials
Hybridelektronik und Strukturierung

T. Abu Ali, J. Pilz, P. Schäffner, M. Kratzer, C. Teichert, B. Stadlober, A. Maria Coclite

Physica Status Solidi 217 (21),, 8/2020


Zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films are deposited by plasma‐enhanced atomic layer deposition (PE‐ALD). This deposition method allows depositing stoichiometric and highly resistive ZnO films at room temperature. Despite such important requirements for piezoelectricity being met, not much is known in literature about the piezoelectric properties of ZnO thin films (<70 nm) deposited by PE‐ALD. The films are grown at different substrate temperatures to investigate the effect on crystalline and piezoelectric properties. Films deposited on flexible poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) generated a higher piezoelectric current (>1.8 nA) and charge (>80 pC) compared with films deposited on glass (>0.3 nA and >30 pC) due to bending effects of the substrate when mechanically excited. Furthermore, increasing the substrate temperature, during deposition, enhances the growth along the (002) crystallographic orientation, which further strengthens the generated piezoelectric current signal for mechanical excitations along the ZnO film's c‐axis.