Ellipsometry on Sputter Deposited Tin Oxide Films: Optical Constants Versus Stoichiometry Hydrogen Content, and Amount of Electrochemically Intercalated Lithium
Tin oxide thin films were deposited by reactive radio-frequency magnetron sputtering onto In2O3:Sn coated and bare glass substrates. Optical constants in the 300-2500 nm wavelength range were determined by a combination of variable-angle spectroscopic ellipsometry and spectrophotometric transmittance measurements. Surface roughness was modeled from optical measurements and compared with atomic-force microscopy. The two techniques gave consistent results. The fit between experimental optical data and model results could be significantly improved when it was assumed that the refractive index of the Sn oxide varied across the film thickness. Varying the oxygen partial pressure during deposition made it possible to obtain films whose complex refractive index changed at the transition from SnO to SnO2. An addition of hydrogen gas during sputtering led to lower optical constants in the full spectral range in connection with a blue shift of the band gap. Electrochemical intercalation of lithium ions into the Sn oxide films raised their refractive index and enhanced their refractive-index gradient.