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Analysis of surface properties of Ti-Cu-Ox gradient thin films using AFM and XPS investigations


The paper presents results of investigations on surface properties of transparent semiconducting thin films based on (Ti-Cu)oxide system prepared using multi-magnetron sputtering system. The thin films were prepared using two programmed profiles of pulse width modulation coefficient, so called V- and U-shape profiles. The applied powering profiles allowed fabrication of thin films with gradient distribution of Ti and Cu elements over the thickness of deposited layers. Optical investigations allowed determination of transparency of prepared films that reached up to 60 % in the visible part of optical radiation, which makes them attractive for the transparent electronics domain. Surface properties investigations showed that the surface of mixed (Ti-Cu)oxides was sensitive to adsorption, in particular to carbon dioxide and water vapor. Soft etching with argon ions resulted in surface cleaning from residuals, however, deoxidation of Cu-oxide components was also observed.

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