Atomic and Molecular Layer Deposition of Alkali Metal Based Thin Films

Milad Madadi, Juho Heiska, Jenna Multia, Maarit Karppinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
125 Downloads (Pure)


Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is the fastest growing thin-film technology in microelectronics, but it is also recognized as a promising fabrication strategy for various alkali-metal-based thin films in emerging energy technologies, the spearhead application being the Li-ion battery. Since the pioneering work in 2009 for Li-containing thin films, the field has been rapidly growing and also widened from lithium to other alkali metals. Moreover, alkali-metal-based metal-organic thin films have been successfully grown by combining molecular layer deposition (MLD) cycles of the organic molecules with the ALD cycles of the alkali metal precursor. The current literature describes already around 100 ALD and ALD/MLD processes for alkali-metal-bearing materials. Interestingly, some of these materials cannot even be made by any other synthesis route. In this review, our intention is to present the current state of research in the field by (i) summarizing the ALD and ALD/MLD processes so far developed for the different alkali metals, (ii) highlighting the most intriguing thin-film materials obtained thereof, and (iii) addressing both the advantages and limitations of ALD and MLD in the application space of these materials. Finally, (iv) a brief outlook for the future perspectives and challenges of the field is given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56793–56811
Number of pages19
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number48
Early online date26 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • alkali metals
  • atomic layer deposition
  • Li-ion battery
  • metal-organic hybrids
  • molecular layer deposition
  • thin films


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