New borane clusters and their corresponding transition and rare earth metal complexes are currently being investigated in our laboratories for their utility as unique source materials for the formation of both metallic and non-metallic thin films. These borane cluster complexes exhibit highly favorable properties for use in OMVPE processes, such as; (1) relatively high volatility, (2) anticipated high stability of the ligand itself to provide clean ligand-metal dissociations, (3) high temperature stabilities of the complexes, (4) readily preparable in significant quantities, and (5) availability of theoretical and spectroscopic probes of structure-reactivity relationships. In this work, we have prepared both non-metallic thin films, including materials such as boron nitride, and metallic thin films (both the transition and rare earth metals) through the use of these unique cluster materials.
Boron nitride has been investigated as a potential hard coating for use as an insulating electrical layer and protective coating. We have investigated plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition and pyrolytic deposition of boron nitride from readily available and easily handled borane clusters. Auger electron spectroscopy was used to show that the film was high purity boron nitride of uniform composition.
The deposition of transition and rare earth metal thin-film materials of controlled stoichiometry has recently received considerable interest. We have discovered the borane cluster-assisted deposition (CAD) of metallic thin-films involving both transition and rare earth metal materials. Through the use of this unprecedented borane cluster chemical transport process, films ranging in thickness from 100 nm to several microns have been straightforwardly and systematically prepared for numerous metal and mixed-metal boroncontaining systems with controlled composition at relatively low temperatures. These new materials have been characterized by SEM and other techniques.