Thin film nucleation in nanoscale electronics


Atomic scale fabrication is required in micro- and nano-electronics. Modern devices exhibit increased structural and compositional complexity, and they are becoming truly 3D in design.

Methods and techniques:

Nucleation is studied during the initial cycles of atomic layer deposition (ALD), which can provide atomic scale control in the growth direction. We examine the effects of process chemistry, substrate temperature, substrate identity and pretreatments, and method (plasma vs. thermal), to understand how each influences nucleation behavior.

We analyze the near surface composition by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), the surface composition and conformality by low-energy ion scattering spectroscopy (LEISS), and the spatial distribution by angle-resolved XPS.