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ZnO is an important semiconductor material for both its piezoelectric properties and for its room-temperature luminescence. It is among the best known materials for acoustic resonators, and is also a promising candidate for transparent electrodes in liquid crystal displays. It is also one of the most versatile and inexpensive tetrahedrally bonded semiconductors, with a large electromechanical tensor, high electron mobility, wide band gap, and excellent room-temperature luminescence.
The crystallinity of MZO films depends on the compositional range, with a low concentration of crystalline defects that act as scattering sites yielding strong broadening and Urbach tails in the X-ray diffraction pattern [1, 2]. For Mg-rich MZO samples (x = 0.3-0.4) with lattice constants close to those of a cubic rocksalt phase, we observe an improvement in crystallinity with increasing x in our X-ray diffraction measurements, as reflected in smaller error bars for the (002), (101), and (103) diffraction peaks in Figure 2. This can be explained by the relaxation of the Mg substitution at the Zn lattice site in the Mg1-xZnxO system that occurs during deposition at low temperature.
This allows the X-ray diffraction patterns of MZO films to be parameterized using five optical free parameters, including the bowing and resonance energies of the first crystalline plane. The bandgap Eg can then be specified based on the measured data, providing a simple and powerful approach to the SE analysis of MZO in terms of its spectral range and composition. This enables the prediction of a photon energy dependent bowing factor and a wideband frequency response in MZO, opening up a range of applications such as SE for CdTe-based thin film solar cells.