Highly Material Selective and Self-Aligned Photo-assisted Atomic Layer Deposition of Copper on Oxide Materials

Ville Miikkulainen*, Marko Vehkamäki, Kenichiro Mizohata, Timo Hatanpää, Mikko Ritala

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


There is a growing need for bottom-up fabrication methods in microelectronic industry as top-down, lithography-based methods face increasing challenges. In Photo-assisted atomic layer deposition (Photo-ALD), photons supply energy to the deposition reactions on the surface. Here, a process and patterning for Photo-ALD of copper is reported, with inherently selective, self-aligned film growth without any photomasking or additive layers. Highly conductive and pure copper films are selectively deposited on tantalum oxide for over hundred nanometers of film thickness, while no copper deposits on silicon or aluminum oxide. On anatase titanium dioxide, copper deposition is crystal-facet selective. Selective deposition of a metal is realized on oxides, which has been especially challenging for ALD. This study indicates that the growth mechanism is closely related to photocatalysis: the photons interact with the material under the growing copper film, enabling the inherent selectivity. The findings provide promising material engineering schemes for microelectronics, photocatalysis, and photovoltaics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100014
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number11
Early online date6 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • area-selective deposition
  • atomic layer deposition
  • copper films
  • photo-assisted deposition
  • photocatalysis


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