Electrical and optical properties of TiO2:Pd thin films deposited from Ti-Pd mosaic targets sputtered in reactive oxygen plasma have been studied. The properties were investigated for thin films with the Pd amount of 5.5 at. %, 8.4 at. % and 23 at. %. Based on resistivity measurements a drop from 103 down to almost 10−3Ωcm has been recorded when the Pd amount was varied from 5.5 at. % to 23 at. %, respectively. Moreover, it was shown that doping with different amounts of Pd results in the possibility of obtaining both types of electrical conduction: n-type for the TiO2 with 5.5 at. % and 8.4 at. % of Pd and p-type for the TiO2 with 23 at. % of Pd thin films. From optical measurements it has been found that as the Pd amount was increased the transmission through the thin films was reduced and position of the fundamental absorption edge was shifted toward a longer wavelength range of up to 600 nm. The optical band gap was calculated for direct and indirect transitions from optical absorption spectra. Structural properties were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The XRD patterns displayed occurrence of the crystalline, TiO2-rutile for lower Pd amounts (5.5 at. %, 8.4 at. %), while the TiO2:Pd (23 at. %) thin films displayed XRD-amorphous behaviour. Images obtained from AFM displayed dense, nanocrystalline structure with homogenous distribution of crystallites. Additionally performed secondary ion mass spectroscopy investigation confirmed homogenous distribution of Pd in the whole thickness of the prepared thin films.
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