Gold nanolayers embedded in zinc oxide for large area flexible photovoltaics

Terry Alford, K. Sivaramakrishnan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Transparent conducting ZnO/Au/ZnO thin film structures were grown by the magnetron sputtering technique on flexible polymer substrates. These films displayed a seven orders of magnitude drop in resistivity (200 to 5.2 × 10 -5 Ω-cm) upon increase ofthe Au layer thickness from 0 nm to 12 nm. The sheet resistance also showed a substantial decrease to a value of 6.5 Ω/sq. These films displayed a photopically average transmittance between 75% and 85% depending upon the gold thickness, and a peak transmittance of up to 93%. The best Haacke figure of merit was 15.1 × 10 -3 Ω -1. As the Au layer thickness was increased, the conduction changed from conduction through the substrate when the nanometal islands are small and far apart to activated tunneling between discontinuous islands, and finally to direct tunneling between larger islands and metallic conduction through a near-continuous layer. Optical transmission behavior of the films was described in terms of the Au's absorption due to interband electronic transitions in the shorter visible wavelengths, and free carrier absorption losses at the longer red wavelengths. This was combined with the limitation of the mean free path in discontinuous films and the size-dependent dielectric constant of the Au particles that enhances absorption in the longer visible wavelengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication3rd-Generation and Emerging Solar-Cell Technologies
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2011
Event2011 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 25 2011Apr 29 2011

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2011 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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