Surface origin of high conductivities in undoped In 2O 3 thin films

S. Lany, A. Zakutayev, T. O. Mason, J. F. Wager, K. R. Poeppelmeier, J. D. Perkins, J. J. Berry, D. S. Ginley, A. Zunger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

81 Citations (Scopus)


The microscopic cause of conductivity in transparent conducting oxides like ZnO, In 2O 3, and SnO 2 is generally considered to be a point defect mechanism in the bulk, involving intrinsic lattice defects, extrinsic dopants, or unintentional impurities like hydrogen. We confirm here that the defect theory for O-vacancies can quantitatively account for the rather moderate conductivity and off-stoichiometry observed in bulk In 2O 3 samples under high-temperature equilibrium conditions. However, nominally undoped thin-films of In 2O 3 can exhibit surprisingly high conductivities exceeding by 4-5 orders of magnitude that of bulk samples under identical conditions (temperature and O 2 partial pressure). Employing surface calculations and thickness-dependent Hall measurements, we demonstrate that surface donors rather than bulk defects dominate the conductivity of In 2O 3 thin films.

Original languageEnglish
Article number016802
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 5 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Surface origin of high conductivities in undoped In <sub>2</sub>O <sub>3</sub> thin films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Lany, S., Zakutayev, A., Mason, T. O., Wager, J. F., Poeppelmeier, K. R., Perkins, J. D., Berry, J. J., Ginley, D. S., & Zunger, A. (2012). Surface origin of high conductivities in undoped In 2O 3 thin films. Physical review letters, 108(1), [016802].