Effects of an electrically conducting layer at the zinc oxide surface
Measurements of the electrical properties of high-resistivity zinc oxide (ZnO) are strongly influenced by the sample ambient. Temperature-dependent Hall-effect measurements were performed on Li- and Cu-doped bulk crystals in both air and vacuum. Repeating the measurements under a given test ambient produced stable results. Changing the ambient systematically changed the measured results. We explain this behavior in terms of a surface conducting channel that exists in vacuum but is destroyed upon exposure to air. We propose that the surface conducting layer is eliminated in air due to changes of the surface condition. This feature of the untreated ZnO surface may relate to reports of large scatter and poor reproducibility of electrical data on p-type ZnO samples.
Schmidt, O. ; Kiesel, P. ; Van de Walle, C. G. ; Johnson, N. M. ; Nause, J.; Doehler, G. Effects of an electrically conducting layer at the zinc oxide surface. Japanese Journal of Applied Physics - Special Issue: Physics of UV Materials and Devices and Their Applications, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. Part 1, 44, 7271 (2005)