5 years ago

Plasma-Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition of Silver Using Ag(fod)(PEt3) and NH3-Plasma

Plasma-Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition of Silver Using Ag(fod)(PEt3) and NH3-Plasma
Ramesh Asapu, Jolien Dendooven, Michiel Van Daele, Johan A. Martens, Sammy W. Verbruggen, Eduardo Solano, Christophe Detavernier, Sreeprasanth Pulinthanathu Sree, Silvia Lenaerts, Ranjith K. Ramachandran, Gino Heremans, Matthias M. Minjauw
A plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (ALD) process using the Ag(fod)(PEt3) precursor [(triethylphosphine)(6,6,7,7,8,8,8-heptafluoro-2,2-dimethyl-3,5-octanedionate)silver(I)] in combination with NH3-plasma is reported. The steady growth rate of the reported process (0.24 ± 0.03 nm/cycle) was found to be 6 times larger than that of the previously reported Ag ALD process based on the same precursor in combination with H2-plasma (0.04 ± 0.02 nm/cycle). The ALD characteristics of the H2-plasma and NH3-plasma processes were verified. The deposited Ag films were polycrystalline face-centered cubic Ag for both processes. The film morphology was investigated by ex situ scanning electron microscopy and grazing-incidence small-angle X-ray scattering, and it was found that films grown with the NH3-plasma process exhibit a much higher particle areal density and smaller particle sizes on oxide substrates compared to those deposited using the H2-plasma process. This control over morphology of the deposited Ag is important for applications in catalysis and plasmonics. While films grown with the H2-plasma process had oxygen impurities (∼9 atom %) in the bulk, the main impurity for the NH3-plasma process was nitrogen (∼7 atom %). In situ Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy experiments suggest that these nitrogen impurities are derived from NHx surface groups generated during the NH3-plasma, which interact with the precursor molecules during the precursor pulse. We propose that the reaction of these surface groups with the precursor leads to additional deposition of Ag atoms during the precursor pulse compared to the H2-plasma process, which explains the enhanced growth rate of the NH3-plasma process.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00690

DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b00690

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