Influence of residual water on magnetron sputter deposited crystalline Al2O3 thin films
2008 (English)In: Thin Solid Films, ISSN 0040-6090, Vol. 516, no 12, 3877-3883 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The effects of residual water on the phase formation, composition, and microstructure evolution of magnetron sputter deposited crystalline alumina thin films have been investigated. To mimic different vacuum conditions, depositions have been carried out with varying partial pressures of H2O. Films have been grown both with and without chromia nucleation layers. It is shown that films deposited onto chromia nucleation layers at relatively low temperatures (500 °C) consists of crystalline alpha-alumina if deposited at a low enough total pressure under ultra high vacuum (UHV) conditions. However, as water was introduced a gradual increase of the gamma phase content in the film with increasing film thickness was observed. At the same time, the microstructure changed drastically from a dense columnar structure to a structure with small, equiaxed grains. Based on mass spectrometry measurements and previous ab initio calculations, we suggest that either bombardment of energetic negative (or later neutralized) species being accelerated over the target sheath voltage, adsorbed hydrogen on growth surfaces, or a combination of these effects, is responsible for the change in structure. For films containing the metastable gamma phase under UHV conditions, no influence of residual water on the phase content was observed. The amounts of hydrogen incorporated into the films, as determined by elastic recoil detection analysis, were shown to be low. Overall, the results demonstrate that residual water present during film growth drastically affects film properties, also in cases where the hydrogen incorporation is found to be low.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ScienceDirect , 2008. Vol. 516, no 12, 3877-3883 p.
Aluminum oxide, Phase formation, Sputtering, Water
National CategoryPhysical Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-11476DOI: 10.1016/j.tsf.2007.07.135OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-11476DiVA: diva2:17911
Original publication: E. Wallin, J.M. Andersson, M. Lattemann, and U. Helmersson, Influence of residual water on magnetron sputter deposited crystalline Al2O3 thin films, 2008, Thin Solid Films, (516), 12, 3877-3883. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tsf.2007.07.135. Copyright: Elsevier B.V., http://www.elsevier.com/2008-04-032008-04-032013-10-30Bibliographically approved