Structural, electronic and optical properties of Cu-doped ZnO : experimental and theoretical investigation
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Engineering sciences. Technology
, p. 1743-1756
University of Antwerp
Experiments are supplemented with ab initio density functional theory (DFT) calculations in order to investigate how the structural, electronic and optical properties of zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films are modified upon Cu doping. Changes in characteristic properties of doped thin films, that are deposited on a glass substrate by sol-gel dip coating technique, are monitored using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and UV measurements. Our ab initio calculations show that the electronic structure of ZnO can be well described by DFT+U/G(0)W(0) method and we find that Cu atom substitutional doping in ZnO is the most favourable case. Our XRD measurements reveal that the crystallite size of the films decrease with increasing Cu doping. Moreover, we determine the optical constants such as refractive index, extinction coefficient, optical dielectric function and optical energy band gap values of the films by means of UV-Vis transmittance spectra. The optical band gap of ZnO the thin film linearly decreases from 3.25 to 3.20 eV at 5% doping. In addition, our calculations reveal that the electronic defect states that stem from Cu atoms are not optically active and the optical band gap is determined by the ZnO band edges. Experimentally observed structural and optical results are in good agreement with our theoretical results.