Identification of vacancy defect complexes in transparent semiconducting oxides ZnO, In2O3 and SnO2

Ilja Makkonen, Esa Korhonen, Vera Prozheeva, Filip Tuomisto

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Positron annihilation spectroscopy, when combined with supporting high-quality modeling of positron states and annihilation in matter, is a powerful tool for detailed defect identification of vacancy-type defects in semiconductors and oxides. Here we demonstrate that the Doppler broadening of the positron annihilation radiation is a very sensitive means for observing the oxygen environment around cation vacancies, the main open-volume defects trapping positrons in measurements made for transparent semiconducting oxides. Changes in the positron annihilation signal due to external manipulation such as irradiation and annealing can be correlated with the associated changes in the sizes of the detected vacancy clusters. Our examples for ZnO, In2O3 and SnO2 demonstrate that oxygen vacancies in oxides can be detected directly using positron annihilation spectroscopy when they are complexed with cation vacancies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number224002
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalJournal of physics: Condensed matter
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • materials characterization
  • positron annihilation spectroscopy
  • transparent conducting oxides


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