Impact of doping and silicon substrate resistivity on the blistering of atomic-layer-deposited aluminium oxide

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Abstract

Aluminium oxide (Al2O3) thin films grown at low temperatures using atomic layer deposition (ALD) are known to often suffer from local delamination sites, referred to as “blisters”, after post-deposition annealing during device processing. In this work, we report our observation that doping of the silicon substrate has an effect on blister formation. The introduction of a highly doped layer by diffusion or implantation is found to significantly reduce blistering, compared to the non-doped regions in the immediate vicinity. Similar behavior is observed for both phosphorus and boron doping. Further investigation of this phenomenon using substrates with different resistivities reveals that even when introduced already during silicon crystal growth, doping affects the blistering of aluminium oxide films. Changes in several properties of silicon affected by doping, most importantly surface terminating groups, native oxide growth, and passivation of defects with hydrogen, are discussed as potential reasons behind the observed effect on blistering.
Original languageEnglish
Article number146400
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
Volume522
Early online date2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • aluminium oxide
  • silicon
  • surface passivation
  • doping
  • blistering

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