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Materials for Energy & Catalysis (SIMS)

SIMS depth profiling of Nitrogen doping in Cu2O

Cuprous oxide (Cu2O), a p-type semiconductor, has long been considered a promising material for low-cost solar-energy conversion and photocatalysis. Nitrogen doping in Cu2O is an important research topic because of its tremendous potential for overcoming the major disadvantage of Cu2O - its high resistance. However, there is still some controversy regarding the effects of nitrogen doping on Cu2O, and no comprehensive understanding has yet been reached.

This study reports a comparative study of nitrogen-doping in Cu2O. SIMS nitrogen concentration depth profiles of the Cu2O:N films doped with nitrogen plasma show: (i) nitrogen incorporation into the films, (ii) its gradual out diffusion during annealing. Results suggests that to enhance the conductivity of Cu2O:N, one needs to increase the doping level and/or optimize the annealing process to balance the activation and outward-diffusion processes.

The IMS 7f-Auto instrument provides in-depth distribution of trace elements (including light elements) with excellent sensitivity and high depth resolution, while keeping high analysis throughput. This instrument is routinely used to study diffusion - segregation processes which are critical to the development of novel semiconductor devices.

Data collected on IMS 7f in Univ. Oslo (Norway). From J. Li et al. NATURE Scientific Reports 4, 7240 (2014).