Studies On CVD And ALD Of Thin Films Of Substituted And Composite Metal Oxides, Including Potential High-k Dielectrics
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The work carried out as a part of this thesis has been focussed on understanding different aspects of the chemical vapor deposition process namely, ALD / MOCVD. A large part of the thesis is aimed at solving the problem of a single-source precursor for the MOCVD process to obtain substituted metal oxide thin films. For a chemical vapor deposition technique, it is important to understand the requisite salient features of precursor for deposition of thin films. For this purpose, not only is the structural characterization of the chemical precursor is required but also an in-depth thermal analysis of the precursor to know its vapor pressure. Vapor pressure of a metalorganic complex is one of the important properties to evaluate the applicability of a metalorganic complex as a MOCV/ALD precursor. The thesis discusses a novel approach to use thermal analysis as a tool to gauge the viability of substituted metal “single source” precursor for MOCVD/ALD. The other half deals with material characterization of thin films grown by an ALD process using hydrogen and Ti(OiPr)2(tbob)2 as precursors. The films were further studied for their potential application as high-k dielectric in DRAM applications. The first chapter is an overview of topics that are relevant to the work carried out in this thesis. The chapter focuses on the description of techniques used for thin film deposition. A detailed review of CVD-type techniques (ALD/ MOCVD) is then given. Chapter1 reviews the various process parameters involved in ALD,i.e. film growth(specifically as a function of the reactant pulse length, the nature of the chemical reactant/precursor and that of the metal precursor, and purge length) and growth temperature. Following the discussion of ALD, CVD and its growth kinetics are also discussed. Chapter 1 then outlines a holistic understanding of precursors, followed the differences in requirement for using them in ALD and MOCVD. Further, an introduction to the titanium oxide (Stoichiometric titanium dioxide and various Magneli phases) system, its phase diagram, oxide properties and their applications is given. Chapter 1 concludes by delineating the scope of the work carried out which is presented in the thesis. The second chapter deals with the synthesis of a series of substituted metal “single source” precursors to be used for MOCVD of substituted metal oxides thin films. The precursor complexes were of the type AlxCr1-x (acac)3 where 0<x<1. The complexes were synthesized using the novel approach of co-synthesis and were characterized by various spectroscopic techniques. Single crystal X-ray diffraction at low temperature was carried out to understand the substitution of metal in the complex crystallographically. The substituted metal complexes synthesized and characterized in chapter 2 were further evaluated for their viability as single source precursors for MOCVD application, using thermo-gravimetry as discussed in chapter 3. Vapor pressure of these complexes was determined by using the Langmuir equation, while the enthalpies of submission and evaporation were calculated using the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. One of the composition of the series of substituted metal complexes, viz., Al0.9Cr0.1(acac)3, was employed on MOCVD reactor as precursor to obtain thin films on three substrates, Si(100), fused silica, and polycrystalline x- alumina, simultaneously. The resultant thin films were characterized using XRD, electron microscopy, FTIR, EDS, X-ray mapping, and UV-vis spectroscopy. Chapter 4 deals with the growth of titanium oxide thin films using ALD. The metal precursor used was Ti(OiPr)2(tbob)2 and the reactant gas was hydrogen. Hydrogen, a reducing gas, was deliberately used to obtain the reduced defect oxide phases of titanium, commonly called Magneli phases. The growth rate of films grown on p-Si(100) was studied with respect to the substrate temperature, vaporizer temperature, pulse duration of metal precursor and pulse duration of the reactive gas. Also, the concept of complementarity of a reaction and self-limiting behavior in a true ALD process was illustrated. The deposition conditions such as substrate temperature and reactive gas flows have been varied to optimize the phase content and the morphology of the films. The films grown were characterized to determine the various phases of titanium oxide present using XRD, TEM, FTIR spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and UV-vis spectroscopy. The presence of carbon was revealed by Raman spectroscopy. By using these characterization techniques, it was concluded that the film grown is a composite made of stiochiometric TiOx matrix embedded with crystallites of (reduced) Magneli phases. Chapter 5 deals with the electrical properties of the composite thin films grown in chapter 4. the films behave as percolative capacitor which could be used for application as novel high-k dielectric material for DRAM. The effect of change in flow rates of reactive gas (H2) on the dielectric constant (k) and leakage current of the film were studied. It was found that phase composition of the film plays an important role in tuning the dielectric properties of the film was also studied. The effect of thickness of the film also studied on the dielectric properties of the film. The trend observed was correlated to the morphology of the film as a function of its thickness and the grain growth mechanism as observed from high resolution scanning electron microscopy. Further, the effect of change in substrate temperature, metal precursor pulse length, and of the metal used as top electrode, on C-V and I-V characteristics were studied. It was interesting to see that the presence of the more conductingTi5O9 (than Ti3O5) enhances the dielectric constant, which is a requisite for a high-k material for DRAM application. On the other hand, the presence of Ti5O9 also increased the leakage current in the film, which was not desirable. It therefore suggested itself that an optimum embedment of Ti5O9 in the composite helps in enhancing the dielectric constant, while maintaining a low leakage current. Under optimum conditions, a dielectric constant of 210 at 1MHz was measured with a leakage current of 17 nA. The effect of the presence of carbon in the film was studied using Raman Spectroscopy, and it was found that a high leakage was associated with films having greater carbon content. In this chapter, electrical properties of composite thin films were also compared with those of stoichiometric titanium dioxide (a known dielectric). Further, a multilayer sandwich structure was proposed, such that it had a 53 mm thick stoichiometric TiO2 layer followed by 336nm thick composite film and again a 53nm thick stoichiometric titanium dioxide layer. The dielectric characteristics of this structure were found to be better than those of either of the other two.viz., stoichiometric titanium dioxide film or the composite thin film of titanium oxide.
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