Thin layers of Y2O3 have been prepared on silicon (100) by an activated reactive evaporation process involving evaporation of metal Y in an atomic oxygen plasma. The presence of the oxygen plasma was found to be crucial for the formation of homogeneous Y2O3 films on Si. The formation of Y2O3 films on Si (100) at different substrate temperatures was investigated. X-ray diffraction analysis showed that Y2O3 films formed between 300 °C and 650 °C were (111) textured while Y2O3 prepared at lower substrate temperatures (80 °C) exhibited mixed orientations. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry indicated that films were stoichiometric. No pronounced channeling was observed in films grown at 350 °C, suggesting polycrystalline film structures. Atomic force microscopy revealed very smooth surface morphologies with average surface roughness < 20 Å for films 700 Å thick deposited at 350 °C. Secondary ion mass spectroscopy indicated the abundance of intermediate layers in the film-substrate interface.
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