Morphological and electrical characterization of Cu-doped PbS thin films with AFM
Advanced Materials Letters,
2017, Volume 8, Issue 11, Pages 1029-1037
AbstractLead sulphide (PbS) is a direct band gap IV–VI intrinsic p-type semiconductor with good potential for application in solar cells, sensors, etc. Doping the films with Cu 2+ ions may improve the electrical properties. Here, Cu-doped PbS films were deposited on conducting glass substrates. The morphology, topography and thickness of the doped PbS films were examined using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and high-resolution SEM. AFM analysis showed decreasing surface roughness and grain size with the increase of Cu 2+ concentration from 0.5 to 2.0 at%. Local surface electrical measurements using conducting AFM and Kelvin probe force microscopy showed the possibility to probe semi-quantitatively the changes in surface potential, work function, and Fermi level upon doping of the films. The estimated apparent work function for the un-doped PbS grains in the film was slightly above 4.5 eV, while it decreased to a minimum value of 4.43-4.45 eV at 1–1.5 at% Cu-doping. Conducting AFM measurements showed that local resistance of the doped samples is lower than on pure PbS films. These results indicate Cu doping as an effective strategy to tune the electrical properties of PbS thin films toward the development of suitable optically active materials for application in photovoltaics.
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