The Cu2O and CuO thin films were synthesized by using RF sputtering technique. Comparisons were made with films created by deposition at room temperature followed by thermal annealing between 1000C and 4000C and using different gases, oxygen (O2) (oxidizing and reactive gas) and nitrogen (N2) (inert gas), besides air. The thickness of the thin films were kept constant, around 2000 Å (Angstrom). In addition, the RF power and pressure deposition were kept constant, as well. The thin films were evaluated for a range of wavelengths between 200 nm and 400 nm (Ultra Violet spectrum), 400 nm and 700 nm (Visible spectrum), 700 nm and 800 nm (Infrared spectrum) for both, optical transmittance and photoluminescence. From the experimental results, the higher annealing temperature and the introduction of nitrogen (N2) gas produced the following results: the optical bandgap for the Cu2O was found to be 2.15 eV and photoluminescence peak around 578 nm, which matched the theoretical analyses. Overall, there was a decrease in the optical bandgap of the Cu2O from 2.58 eV at room temperature to 2.15 eV for the film annealed in nitrogen gas at 4000C. This indicates that the Cu2O is a potential candidate in solar cell applications. The CuO thin film had a bandgap of 2.19 eV at room temperature, with the increase in annealing temperature, the bandgap decreases as well. The presence of air in the chamber allowed for the highest decrease in comparison with the N2 and O2. This was reflected in the decrease in the bandgap values from 2.19 eV to 2.04 eV for the CuO films annealed at 4000C. The photoluminescence peak for the CuO in air annealed at 4000C was around 607 nm. Both types of films were analyzed with respect to other optical characteristics, like absorbance, reflectance, refractive index, extinction coefficient, optical conductivity, dielectric constants, as well as material characteristics like x-ray diffraction.


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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









Release Date

August 2022

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)