This study used radio frequency sputtering at room temperature to prepare a zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film. After deposition, the thin film was placed in a high-temperature furnace to undergo thermal annealing at different temperatures (300, 400, 500, and 600°C) and for different dwelling times (15, 30, 45, and 60 min). The objective was to explore the effects that the described process had on the thin film's internal structure and luminescence properties. A scanning electron microscope topographic image showed that the size of the ZnO crystals grew with increases in either the thermal annealing temperature or the dwelling time. However, significant differences in the levels of influence caused by increasing the thermal annealing temperature or dwelling time existed; the thermal annealing temperature had a greater effect on crystal growth when compared to the dwelling time. Furthermore, the crystallization directions of ZnO (002), (101), (102), and (103) can be clearly observed through an X-ray diffraction analysis, and crystallization strength increased with an increase in the thermal annealing temperature. The photoluminescence measurement spectra showed that ultraviolet (UV) emission intensity increased with increases in thermal annealing temperature and dwelling time. However, when the thermal annealing temperature reached 600°C or when the dwelling time reached 60 min, even exhibited a weak green light emission peak.
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