Tuning the Porosity of Piezoelectric Zinc Oxide Thin Films Obtained from Molecular Layer-Deposited “Zincones”

Marianne Kräuter, Taher Abu Ali, Barbara Stadlober, Roland Resel, Katrin Unger, Anna Maria Coclite*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Porous zinc oxide (ZnO) thin films were synthesized via the calcination of molecular layer-deposited (MLD) “zincone” layers. The effect of the MLD process temperature (110 °C, 125 °C) and of the calcination temperature (340 °C, 400 °C, 500 °C) on the chemical, morphological, and crystallographic properties of the resulting ZnO was thoroughly investigated. Spectroscopic ellipsometry reveals that the thickness of the calcinated layers depends on the MLD temperature, resulting in 38–43% and 52–56% of remaining thickness for the 110 °C and 125 °C samples, respectively. Ellipsometric porosimetry shows that the open porosity of the ZnO thin films depends on the calcination temperature as well as on the MLD process temperature. The maximum open porosity of ZnO derived from zincone deposited at 110 °C ranges from 14.5% to 24%, rising with increasing calcination temperature. Compared with the 110 °C samples, the ZnO obtained from 125 °C zincone yields a higher porosity for low calcination temperatures, namely 18% for calcination at 340 °C; and up to 24% for calcination at 500 °C. Additionally, the porous ZnO thin films were subjected to piezoelectric measurements. The piezoelectric coefficient, d33, was determined to be 2.8 pC/N, demonstrating the potential of the porous ZnO as an, e.g., piezoelectric sensor or energy harvester.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6786
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • annealing
  • molecular layer deposition
  • piezoresponse
  • porosimetric ellipsometry
  • porous thin film
  • ZnO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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