Transparent conducting oxides (TCO) are a special class of materials that possess both the properties of optical transparency and electrical conductivity. They find use in various applications such as flat panel displays, light-emitting diodes, solar cells, touch screens, smart windows, etc. Some of the most well-known and widely used TCOs are ZnO doped with Al, In2O3 doped with Sn, and SnO2 doped with F. All these TCOs are n-type in nature and show n-type conductivity. On the contrary, p-type TCOs are not very common, and due to their inherent low mobility, it is very challenging to synthesize highly conductive p-type TCOs. This has, in turn, stunted the growth of transparent electronics, which requires both n-type and p-type TCOs with good conductivity. The pursuit of viable p-type TCO has led to a group of materials called as delafossites. Delafossites have the general chemical formula CuMO2, where Cu is a positive monovalent cation (Cu+), M is a trivalent cation (3+ metals like Ga, Al, Fe, In, etc.), and oxygen is a negative divalent anion (O2-). CuGaO2 has grown in popularity as one of the most researched p-type delafossites as the demand for novel p-type TCO has grown. This dissertation focuses on the deposition, synthesis, optimization, and post-deposition processing of CuGaO2 p-type TCO thin films deposited using the sputtering technique. The films were deposited using single or dual-target sputtering using either stoichiometrically mixed targets of Cu2O and Ga2O3 or by using Ga2O3 and Cu targets. The films displayed favorable tunable attributes and diverse film compositions with varying deposition parameters and post-deposition treatments. By varying the annealing ambiance, films containing CuGa2O4, a secondary phase of CuGaO2, were also synthesized and studied. The etch feasibility of any thin film is of prime importance for its use in any practical application. The etch feasibility of CuGaO2 films in various acids was also studied and reported in this dissertation.


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Graduation Date





Sundaram, Kalpathy


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Program

Electrical Engineering




CFE0009058; DP0026391





Release Date

May 2023

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)