Transparent semiconductor thin films of Zn1 - xTixO (0 ≦ x ≦ 0.12) were deposited on alkali-free glass substrates by the sol-gel method. The effects of Ti addition on the crystallization, microstructure, optical properties and resistivity of ZnO thin films were investigated. The as-coated films were preheated at 300 °C, and then annealed at 500 °C in air ambiance. X-ray diffraction results showed all polycrystalline Zn1 - xTixO thin films with preferred orientation along the (002) plane. Ti incorporated within the ZnO thin films not only decreased surface roughness but also increased optical transmittance and electrical resistivity. In the present study, the Zn0.88Ti0.12O film exhibited the best properties, namely an average transmittance of 91.0% (an increase of ~ 12% over the pure ZnO film) and an RMS roughness value of 1.04 nm.
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