Transition metal- And rare earth-doped ZnO: A comparison of optical, magnetic, and structural behavior of bulk and thin films

W. E. Fenwick*, M. H. Kane, R. Varatharajan, T. Zaidi, Z. Fang, B. Nemeth, D. J. Keeble, H. El-Mkami, G. M. Smith, J. Nause, C. J. Summers, I. T. Ferguson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recent theoretical predictions of ferromagnetic behavior in transition metal (TM)-doped ZnO have focused significant attention on these materials for use as spintronic materials. Moreover, rare earth (RE) elements in wide bandgap semiconductors would be useful not only in spintronics but also in optoelectronic applications. This work presents results obtained from an investigation into the optical, magnetic, and structural properties of transition-metal (TM)-doped ZnO and rare earth (RE) doped ZnO (TM = Mn, Co, Ni, and Fe; RE = Gd, Eu, and Tb) bulk crystals and thin films. Properties of TM- and RE-doped ZnO bulk crystals and thin films were studied and compared in order to better understand the nature of these dopant centers and their effects on the properties of the host crystal. Optical properties confirm the incorporation of substitutional transition metal ions on cation sites. While most thin film samples show ferromagnetic behavior, the magnetic response of the bulk crystals varies. This suggests that the magnetic behavior of TM-doped ZnO is highly dependent on growth conditions, and growth conditions which favor the formation of grain boundaries and interfaces may be more likely to result in ferromagnetic behavior. Origins of this ferromagnetic behavior are still under investigation. Defect luminescence observed in the RE-doped samples suggests that these materials may prove useful in optoelectonic applications as well.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZinc Oxide Materials and Devices II
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2007
EventZinc Oxide Materials and Devices II - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 21 Jan 200724 Jan 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceZinc Oxide Materials and Devices II
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • II-VI semiconductors
  • Melt growth
  • Spintronics
  • Transition metal
  • Zinc oxide


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