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Design and control of porosity in oxide thin films grown by PECVD

Ana Borras Angel Barranco Agustin R. González-Elipe 1

1. Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Sevilla (ICMSE), Avda. Americo Vespucio, 49, Sevilla 41092, Spain


Control of porosity in oxide thin films is extremely important for a wide set of purposes. The antireflection properties of thin films, their use as optical sensor, the control of the permittivity in low-k materials and others can be quoted among those applications where the tailoring of the porosity is a crucial issue. This paper reports about some approaches developed in our laboratory to get a precise control of the porosity of oxide thin films prepared by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD). The use of sacrificial layers of organic materials that can be removed during the deposition of the oxide thin film and the adjustment of the deposition parameters (pressure and composition of plasma gas, temperature of support) are two possible methodologies that can render a wide variety of thin film microstructures. Examples will be shown for TiO2 and SiO2 thin films grown under different conditions. The microstructure of these thin films is characterised by different classical techniques such as SEM or AFM. In addition, it will be shown the high potential of using the FT-IR spectroscopy and the employ of a quartz crystal monitor to measure gas adsorption isotherms. This latter technique, practically unknown in thin films, relies on the same concepts than the BET procedure for the characterization of powder materials and furnishes the possibility to estimate the total porosity and pore size distribution in thin films. Some examples will be given of properties (optical properties, membrane applications, sensor response, photocatalytic behaviour) of thin films where the porosity is a crucial parameter


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Presentation: Oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2006, Symposium A, by Agustin R. González-Elipe
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2006

Submitted: 2006-05-15 13:40
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44