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Atomic Layer Deposited Thin Films for Dielectrics, Semiconductor Passivation, and Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

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posted on 28.06.2013 by Runshen Xu
High dielectric constant, κ, materials have been recognized to be promising candidates to replace traditional SiO2 and SiON, because they enable good scalability of sub-45 nm MOSFET (metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor) without inducing additional power consumption and heat dissipation. In addition to high dielectric constant, high-κ materials must meet a number of other requirements, such as low leakage current, high mobility, good thermal and structure stability with Si to withstand high-temperature source-drain activation annealing. In this thesis, atomic layer deposited (ALD) Er2O3 doped TiO2 is studied and proposed as a thermally stable amorphous high-κ dielectric on Si substrate. The stabilization of TiO2 in its amorphous state is found to achieve a high permittivity of 36, a hysteresis voltage of less than 10 mV, and a low leakage current density of 10−8 A/cm2 at −1 MV/cm. In III-V semiconductors, issues including unsatisfied dangling bonds and native oxides often result in inferior surface quality that yields non-negligible leakage currents and degrades the long-term performance of devices. The traditional means for passivating the surface of III-V semiconductors are based on the use of sulfide solutions; however, that only offers good protection against oxidation for a short-term (i.e., one day). In this work, in order to improve the chemical passivation efficacy of III-V semiconductors, ultra-thin layer of encapsulating ZnS is coated on the surface of GaSb and GaSb/InAs substrates. The 2 nm-thick ZnS film is found to provide a long-term protection against reoxidation for one order and a half longer times than prior reported passivation likely due to its amorphous structure without pinholes. Finally, a combination of binary ALD processes is developed and demonstrated for the growth of yttria-stabilized zirconia films using alkylamido-cyclopentadiengyls zirconium and tris(isopropyl-cyclopentadienyl)yttrium, as zirconium and yttrium precursors, respectively, with ozone being the oxidant. The desired cubic structure of YSZ films is apparently achieved after post-deposition annealing. Further, platinum is atomic layer deposited as electrode on YSZ (8 mol% of Yttria) within the same system. In order to control the morphology of as-deposited Pt thin structure, the nucleation behavior of Pt on amorphous and cubic YSZ is investigated.



Takoudis, Christos


Chemical Engineering

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level


Committee Member

Low, Ke-Bin Feinerman, Alan Klie, Robert Jursich, Gregory

Submitted date




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