3 years ago

Low-Temperature Steam Annealing of Metal Oxide Thin Films from Aqueous Precursors: Enhanced Counterion Removal, Resistance to Water Absorption, and Dielectric Constant

Low-Temperature Steam Annealing of Metal Oxide Thin Films from Aqueous Precursors: Enhanced Counterion Removal, Resistance to Water Absorption, and Dielectric Constant
Catherine J. Page, Douglas A. Keszler, Aidan K. Grealish, Shannon W. Boettcher, Brenna L. Kirk, Deok-Hie Park, Lisa J. Enman, Paul N. Plassmeyer, Keenan N. Woods
Aqueous solution deposition has emerged as a potentially scalable, high-throughput route to functional metal oxide thin films. Aqueous routes, however, generally require elevated processing temperatures to produce fully condensed films that are resistant to water absorption. Herein, we report a low-processing-temperature method for preparing more fully condensed, stable metal oxide films from aqueous precursors. We show that a steam anneal at ≤200 °C reduces residual nitrates in zinc oxide, yttrium aluminum oxide, and lanthanum zirconium oxide (LZO) films. An in-depth study on LZO dielectric films reveals steam annealing also reduces residual chloride content, increases resistance to post-anneal water absorption, eliminates void formation, and enhances the dielectric constant. This investigation demonstrates that steam annealing directly affects the decomposition temperatures and chemical evolution of aqueous precursors, suggesting a general means for producing high-quality films at low processing temperatures.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b03585

DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.7b03585

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