Thin film growth effects on electrical conductivity in entropy stabilized oxides

TitleThin film growth effects on electrical conductivity in entropy stabilized oxides
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsJacobson V., Diercks D., To B., Zakutayev A., Brennecka G.
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Keywordselectrical conductivity, Entropy, oxide, Phase, Polycrystalline oxide thin films, Pulsed laser deposition, STCH, Thin film

Entropy stabilization has garnered significant attention as a new approach to designing novel materials. Much of the work in this area has focused on bulk ceramic processing, leaving entropy-stabilized thin films relatively under-explored. Following an extensive multi-variable investigation of polycrystalline (Mg0.2Co0.2Ni0.2Cu0.2Zn0.2)O thin films deposited via pulsed laser deposition (PLD), it is shown here that substrate temperature and deposition pressure have strong and repeatable effects on film texture and lattice parameter. Further analysis shows that films deposited at lower temperatures and under lower oxygen chamber pressure are ∼40× less electrically resistive than otherwise identical films grown at higher temperature and pressure. Annealing these films in an oxygen-rich environment increases their electrical resistivity to match that of the films grown at higher temperatures and pressures. Because of this, the electric conductivity is hypothesized to be the result of polaron hopping mediated by transition metal valence changes which compensate for oxygen off-stoichiometry.