Columnar nitrogen-doped ZnO nanostructured thin films obtained through atomic layer deposition

J. Rodríguez-López, R. Rangel*, A. Ramos-Carrazco, D. Berman-Mendoza, P. Quintana-Owen, P. Bartolo-Pérez, J. J. Alvarado-Gil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The present study was aimed to develop nitrogen-doped nanostructured ZnO thin films. These films were produced in a sequential procedure involving the atomic layer deposition technique, and a hydrothermal process supported by microwave heating. Employing the atomic layer deposition technique, through self-limited reactions of diethylzinc (DEZn) and H2O, carried out at 3.29 10-4 atm and 190 C, a high-quality ZnO seed was grown on a Si (100) substrate, producing a textured film. In a second stage, columnar ZnO nanostructures were grown perpendicularly oriented to the silicon substrate on those films, using a solvothermal process in a microwave heating facility, employing Zn(NO3)2 as zinc precursor, while hexamethylenetetramine (HMTA) was used to produce the bridging of Zn2+ ions. The consequence of N-doping concentration on the physicochemical properties of ZnO thin films was studied. The manufactured films were structurally analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction. Also, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman, and UV-vis spectroscopies were used to provide further insight on the effect of nitrogen doping. The N-doped films displayed textured wurtzite-like structures that changes their preferential growth from the (002) to the (100) crystallographic plane, apparently promoted by the increase of nitrogen precursor. It is also shown that nitrogen-doped films undergo a reduction in their bandgap, compared to ZnO. The methodology presented here provides a viable way to perform high-quality N-ZnO nanostructured thin films.

Original languageEnglish
Article number405704
Issue number40
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2021

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  • ZnO
  • atomic layer deposition
  • microwave heating
  • nanostructured thin films
  • nitrogen doping


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