The crystallinity and mechanical properties of indium tin oxide coatings on polymer substrates

Eun Hye Kim, Chan Woo Yang, Jin Woo Park

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45 Citations (Scopus)


We present the relationship between the microstructure and mechanical strength of indium tin oxide (ITO) on flexible substrates. With varying thickness (hf), ITO is deposited on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by dc magnetron sputtering. The microstructure of ITO is controlled by substrate surface conditions and sputtering parameters. The maximum substrate temperature during deposition is limited to 80 °C due to the low glass transition temperature (Tg) of PET. The crystallinity and surface roughness (Rrms) are analyzed by high resolution x-ray diffraction, high resolution transmission electron microscopy, and AFM. The crack resistance of ITO is evaluated by uniaxial tension test. The experimental results reveal that, at a fixed hf, the degree and quality of crystallinity of ITO are highly improved by increasing sputtering power and the substrate temperature. As the crystallinity is improved, the ratio of preferred growth orientations of (222) to (400) is increased and the degree of peak shifts to lower 2 is decreased. They indicate that the crystallinity is improved as the lattice damage is reduced and film density is increased. The tension test results confirm that, up to a certain hf, the strength of ITO can be significantly enhanced by improving the microstructures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number043511
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Fundamental R&D Program for Technology of World Premier Materials funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy, South Korea.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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