This work demonstrates the changes to the morphology, crystalline structure, optical reflectivity and electrical conductance of solution-processed ZnO thin films by the inclusion of an aluminium dopant during spin-coating. The is work also determines the compositional chemical state of the Al:ZnO structures compared to ZnO using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in conjunction with detailed X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy examination of the film morphology. We also demonstrate a method of determining the optical thickness of multilayer thin films using simple, non-destructive angle-resolved reflectance measurements. Using optical interference, the optical thickness of the multi-layered deposited ZnO and Al:ZnO can be determined and show good agreement with the thicknesses measured by transmission electron microscopy of electron transparent lamellar cross-sections.
We also show the visible and near-infra red (VIS-NIR) light spectroscopy of ZnO and Al:ZnO multi-layered thin film structures grown on oxidized silicon substrates also define the growth conditions and processing to provide tunable antireflection coatings of ZnO and AZO.