Monolayer-mediated deposition of tantalum(V) oxide thin film structures from solution precursors

Paul G. Clem, Noo Li Jeon, Ralph G Nuzzo, David A. Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Integration of oxide thin films with semiconductor substrates is a critical technology for a variety of microelectronic memory and circuit applications. Patterned oxide thin film devices are typically formed by uniform deposition followed by postdeposition ion-beam or chemical etching in a controlled environment. This paper reports details of an ambient atmosphere technique which allows selective deposition of dielectric oxide thin layers without postdeposition etching. In this method, substrate surfaces are selectively functionalized with hydrophobic self-assembled nonolayers of octadecltrichlorosilane by microcontact printing (μ-CP). Sol-gel deposition of ceramic oxides on these functionalized substrates, followed by mild, nonabrasive polishing, yields high-quality. patterned oxide thin layers only on the unfunctionalized regions. A variety of micrometer-scale dielectric oxide devices have been fabricated by this process, with lateral resolutions as fine as 4 μm. In this paper, we describe the solution chemistry, evolution of microstructure, and electrical properties of Ta 2O 5 thin films, as well as the stress-related mechanism which enables selective de-adhesion and resultant patterning. Selectively deposited. 80-120 nm thick Ta 2O 5 thin film capacitors were crystallized on platinized silicon at 700-800°C, and had dielectric constants of 18-25 depending upon the processing conditions, with 1 V leakage current densities as low as 2 × 10 -8 A/cm 2. The ability to selectively deposit Ta 2O 5 and other electrical ceramics (such as LiNbO 3 and PbTiO 3) on a variety of technologically important substrate materials suggests broad potential for integrated circuit and hybrid microelectronics applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2821-2827
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry

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