Atomic layer deposition of SiO2 using catalyzed and uncatalyzed self-limiting surface reactions

J. W. Klaus*, O. Sneh, A. W. Ott, S. M. George

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


SiO2 thin filins were deposited with atomic layer control using self-limiting surface reactions. The SiO2 growth was achieved by separating the binary reaction SiCL4 + 2H2O→SiO2 + 4HCl into two half-reactions. Successive application of the half-reactions in an ABAB. . . sequence produced atomic-layer-controlled SiO2 deposition. SiO2 films were grown at temperatures of 600-800 K, with SiCl4 and H2O reactant exposures of ∼ 109 L (1 L=10-6 Torr s). Employing pyridine (C5H5N) as a catalyst, the SiO2 films could be deposited at much lower temperatures and reactant exposures. The pyridine catalyst lowered the required SiO2 deposition temperature from > 600 K to 300 K and reduced the reactant exposure required for complete reactions from ∼ 109 L to ∼ 104 L. In addition, the SiO2 growth rates increased from 0.75 Å per AB cycle at 800 K to 2.1 Å per AB cycle at 300 K. The deposited films were stoichiometric SiO2 and were extremely flat, with a roughness nearly identical to the initial substrate surface. The films also displayed dielectric breakdown strengths similar to thermally deposited SiO2 films. The ability to deposit conformal SiO2 thin films with atomic layer control over a wide range of temperatures should find numerous applications in thin film device fabrication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-448
Number of pages14
JournalSurface Review and Letters
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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