Review Article: Atomic layer deposition of optoelectronic materials

  • Leskelä M
  • Mattinen M
  • Ritala M
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Abstract

© 2019 Author(s). Optoelectronic materials can source, detect, and control light wavelengths ranging from gamma and x rays to ultraviolet, visible, and infrared regions. Optoelectronic devices are usually systems that transduce electricity to optical signal or vice versa. Optoelectronic devices include many modern necessities such as lamps, displays, lasers, solar cells, and various photodetectors. Some important research topics in the field of optoelectronics materials are development of new materials, new technologies for fabricating materials, and design of device structures. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a technology that was developed in the early 1970s for manufacturing high-quality luminescent and dielectric films to be used in AC-driven thin film electroluminescent (TFEL) displays. Monochromic yellow-black displays based on a ZnS:Mn luminescent layer have been manufactured industrially using ALD since the mid-1980s. Multicolor displays (green-yellow-red) were successfully realized by filtering the broad emission band of ZnS:Mn or adding another luminescent material, e.g., green-emitting ZnS:Tb or SrS:Ce. However, applicable full-color AC TFEL devices could not be developed because of the lack of an efficient deep blue-emitting phosphor. Currently, the most promising application area in TFEL displays is transparent displays, which are commonly used in various vehicles. In the mid-1980s, epitaxial III-V semiconductors were studied using ALD. It was shown that manufacturing real epitaxial [atomic layer epitaxy (ALE)] films is possible for different III (Al, Ga, In) and V (N, P, As) materials. The advantages of ALE processing compared to more traditional metalorganic chemical vapor deposition or molecular beam epitaxy methods have remained low, however, and ALE is not used on a large scale. Research continues to be carried out using ALE, especially with nitride films. Thin film solar cells have continuously received attention in ALD research. ALD films may be used as both an absorber (CdTe, SnS) and a passivation [In 2 S 3 , Zn(O,S)] material. However, in the solar cell field, the real industrial-level use is in passivation of silicon cells. Thin ALD Al 2 O 3 film effectively passivates all types of silicon cells and improves their efficiency. Transition metal dichalcogenides are emerging 2D materials that have potential uses as channel materials in field-effect transistors, as well as phototransistors and other optoelectronic devices. The problem with achieving large-scale use of these 2D materials is the lack of a scalable, low-temperature process for fabricating high-quality, large-area films. ALD is proposed as a solution for these limitations. This review covers all of these ALD applications in detail.

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Leskelä, M., Mattinen, M., & Ritala, M. (2019). Review Article: Atomic layer deposition of optoelectronic materials. Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, 37(3), 030801. https://doi.org/10.1116/1.5083692

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