Characterization of indium-tin-oxide films with improved corrosion resistance


  • Paper presented at the 26th Symposium on Applied Surface Analysis. 15–18 June 2004, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, USA.


Triple-junction amorphous silicon solar cells coated with indium-tin-oxide (ITO) can be used to produce hydrogen gas from water and sunlight. However, a major limitation in their use is the short lifetime due to corrosion of the ITO coating that forms the anode in photoelectrochemical devices. In this work, we compare corrosion rates for ITO film electrodes grown using different sputter deposition conditions. The corrosion resistance varied by more than a factor of 15, with the longest-lasting film having a time-to-failure of 25 h. The films were characterized exhaustively by techniques including electron microscopy, electron spectroscopy, electron microprobe and x-ray diffraction to determine composition, thickness and microstructure. The most corrosion-resistant films had the most well-formed crystals and showed the most crystal texturing. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.