Student Author(s)

Zachary Kellner

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Stephen Remillard, Physics; Dr. Paul DeYoung, Physics

Document Type


Event Date



As the electronics industry continues to flourish, there is a high demand for semiconductors with novel or unexplored properties. Collaborators at Union Christian College in Aluva, India have produced CuInO thin films and TiO2 nanotube films to investigate their semiconducting properties. These films are of interest due to their potential for use in solar cells. They have several properties that lend themselves to this, such as CuInO’s transparency and TiO2’s use as a photoanode. These films were analysed using Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS), a technique where a focused ion beam penetrates into a layered sample and undergoes elastic collisions with atomic nuclei in the sample. RBS allows one to determine the elemental composition at differing depths within the film. This information was checked against elemental composition data taken with Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS/EDX). EDS provides an elemental composition but lacks any depth information. Using the elemental composition information from RBS, concentration gradients were constructed showing the changes in relative concentration of key elements in the films. This analysis also provided evidence for interface layers in the CIO samples where copper and indium had diffused from the film into the substrate.


This work was supported by funds provided by the Hope College Dean of Natural and Applied Sciences and the Hope College Department of Physics.

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