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Excimer laser annealing studies were conducted of SrBi2Ta2O9, Pb(ZrxTi1-x)O3 and CeMnO3 thin films. The main incentive was to develop a low temperature process for SrBi2Ta2O9 thin films, which typically require a 750 C anneal to crystallize and achieve optimum ferroelectric properties. The results show that room temperature laser annealing can crystallize SrBi2Ta2O9, with a strong (200) preferred orientation. The Pb(ZrxTi1-x)O3 and CeMnO3 thin films investigated in this study were crystalline as deposited. Laser annealing of the Pb(ZrxTi1-x)O3 and CeMnO3 films did not result in a significant increase in crystallinity, as evidenced by the intensities of the x-ray diffraction peaks. Electrical characterization of laser annealed SrBi2Ta2O9 thin films showed good dielectric properties and the onset of ferroelectric behavior. Low temperature laser annealing is shown to be a viable approach to enable integration of ferroelectric SrBi2Ta2O9 films with silicon based micro-electronics, for ferroelectric memory applications.
We have examined the growth of a number of important ferroelectric oxides by MOCVD using a rotating disk reactor. Highly uniform and reproducible films over 6” wafers have been routinely achieved. Materials include Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT, PbZrxTi1-xO3), Lead Lanthanum Zirconate Titanate (PLZT), Strontium Bismuth Tantalate (SBT), CeMnO3 (CMO), and others. Emphasis has been on achieving highly crystalline and oriented films at the lowest deposition temperatures possible, for compatibility with other integrated device materials and processing; and the achievement of optimum ferroelectric and pyroelectric performance. The effects of varying growth parameters, barrier and/or template layers, and post-growth annealing have been studied. The growth process, physical characterization, and ferroelectric film properties will be discussed.
ZnO is a wide bandgap (3.2 eV) semiconductor with potential application in LEDs, lasers, and transparent transistors, among other uses. These applications require uniform thickness, high quality materials (amorphous, poly- or single crystal), pinhole- and defect-free-single-and multilayer-conformal coatings. These attributes are generally best achievable by MOCVD. We have mounted a significant effort to develop automated MOCVD systems and process technologies for single and multicomponent oxides. The reactors use high speed rotation and are of a vertical orientation built to all metal UHV standards. We have demonstrated reactor scaled performance from 3” to 12” diameter depositions planes with modeling scales through 24” diameter. Metalorganics are used for zinc and dopant sources as well as dopant gases to optimize performance at low pressures. In this paper we will discuss our most recent results with epitaxial ZnO films, achievements in p-type doping, multilayer structures, and polycrystalline doped ZnO films.
The transmission electron microscope (TEM) is one of the most useful tools available to the materials scientist. Yet both the complexity and expense of the equipment, and the huge investment in time necessary to become proficient in specimen preparation and image acquisition and analysis, mean that it is difficult for most industrial institutions to maintain a state-of-the-art TEM facility. How can industry overcome this problem? One solution is to set up a collaboration with a university, an industrial partner, or a government research laboratory. Such collaborations can be extremely valuable to the company, which gains access to microscopes, specimen-preparation equipment and the expertise of professional microscopists, and to the research laboratory, which benefits from the industrial perspective and the private sector's proficiency in materials preparation and processing.
Such collaborations exist, and they can produce excellent results. In this article, we present three case studies in which successful collaboration has occurred between industry and one of the Department of Energy's scientific user facilities, the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM-see sidebar). Our aim is not only to describe results that we hope will be of scientific interest but also to encourage industrial researchers to consider collaborations with institutes such as NCEM.
Photo-sensitive SrBi2Ta2O9 (SBT) solutions were evaluated and the patterning process flow for SBT films using the solutions was optimized. By adding a soft-bake process before UVirradiation, self-patterned SBT films were successfully prepared from the solutions and the cross sectional shape of the patterned films was improved. The photo-sensitivity of the solutions was estimated to be 900 mJ/cm2. The photo-reaction in the precursor gel film formed from the solution was traced by measuring IR absorption spectra. The obtained films had excellent ferroelectric properties comparable to conventional SBT films.
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