We report an investigation of tetraethylene glycol (TEG) solutions of chloride salts (CdCl2 ,TeCl4 ,and HgCl2 ) for electrodeposition of films of CdTe and Hg1.xCdxTe, leading II-VI semiconductors. The high boiling point (314°C), below-room temperature (T) (-6°C) melting point, adequate metal chloride solubilities, and low toxicity of TEG make it a good candidate for electrodeposition at T > 200°C. Such temperatures tend to activate growth of larger crystallites than with aqueous electrolytes at T< 100 °C, as are advantageous in optoelectronic applications. Initial results do, indeed, indicate a dramatic increase in crystallinity with deposition temperature, especially for the CdTe films which are nearly amorphous when grown at room temperature. Hg1.xCdxTe films (x< 0.5) are marginally polycrystalline when grown at room temperature but also improve in crystallinity at higher growth temperatures. There appears to be a strong decrease in film adherence and uniformity as growth temperature increases for both materials probably because the greatly increased carrier concentrations at higher temperatures increase film conductivity which, in turn, supports easy electroplating of protruding loose dendritic and/or columnar crystallites, instead of the monolayer-by monolayer growth of lower conductivity material as occurs at lower temperatures, especially in the higher bandgap/lower conductivity CdTe. The same increase in film conductivity with temperature is responsible for the decrease in the relative photosensitivity of both the CdTe and Hg1.x CdxTe with temperature. At all temperatures, the inferior adherence, uniformity, and photosensitivity as well as the superior crystallinity of Hg1.xCd xTe over that of the CdTe are also explained by its lower bandgap and higher conductivity. On balance, however, the initial results prove the utility of high temperature TEG electrolytes for electrodepositing CdTe and Hg1.xCdxTe films with much better crystallinity than for those grown at lower temperatures, notably in aqueous baths.
Poole, Chris; Engelken, Robert; Kemp, Brandon; and Brannen, Jason
"Tetraethylene Gycol-Based Electrolytes for High Temperature Electrodeposition of Compound Semiconductors,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 48
, Article 28.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol48/iss1/28