thin film, oxide, molecular beam epitaxy, wide bandgap, NiO, MBE


In this work, a body of knowledge is presented which pertains to the growth, characterization and exploitation of high quality, novel II-IV oxide epitaxial films and structures grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. The two compounds of primary interest within this research are the ternary films NixMg1-xO and ZnxMg1-xO and the investigation focuses predominantly on the realization, assessment and implementation of these two oxides as optoelectronic materials. The functioning hypothesis for this largely experimental effort has been that these cubic ternary oxides can be exploited - and possibly even juxtaposed - to realize novel wide band gap optoelectronic technologies. The results of the research conducted presented herein overwhelmingly support this hypothesis in that they confirm the possibility to grow these films with sufficient quality by this technique, as conjectured. NixMg1-xO films with varying Nickel concentrations ranging from x = 0 to x = 1 have been grown on lattice matched MgO substrates (lattice mismatch ε < 0.01) and characterized structurally, morphologically, optically and electrically. Similarly, cubic ZnxMg1-xO films with Zinc concentrations ranging from x = 0 to x ≈ 0.53, as limited by phase segregation, have also been grown and characterized. Photoconductive devices have been designed and fabricated from these films and characterized. Successfully engineered films in both categories exhibit the desired deep ultraviolet photoresponse and therefore verify the hypothesis. While the culminating work of interest here focuses on the two compounds discussed above, the investigation has also involved the characterization or exploitation of related films including hexagonal phase ZnxMg1-xO, ZnO, CdxZn1-xO and hybrid structures based on these compounds used in conjunction with GaN. These works were critical precursors to the growth of cubic oxides, however, and are closely relevant. Viewed in its entirety, this document can therefore be considered a multifaceted interrogation of several novel oxide compounds and structures, both cubic and wurtzite in structure. The conclusions of the research can be stated succinctly as a quantifiably successful effort to validate the use of these compounds and structures for wide bandgap optoelectronic technologies.


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Graduation Date



Schoenfeld, Winston


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Optics and Photonics


Optics and Photonics

Degree Program









Release Date

May 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)