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Structural, optical, and mechanical properties of TiO2 nanolaminates

: Ghazaryan, L.; Handa, S.; Schmitt, P.; Beladiya, V.; Roddatis, V.; Tünnermann, A.; Szeghalmi, A.

Fulltext ()

Nanotechnology 32 (2021), No.9, Art. 095709, 15 pp.
ISSN: 0957-4484
ISSN: 1361-6528
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IOF ()
aluminum-doped zinc oxide films; atomic layer deposition; bandpass filters; mechanical properties; titanium dioxide

The structural, optical, and mechanical properties of TiO2 nanolaminate films grown by plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition are discussed. Several TiO2/Al2O3 and TiO2/SiO2 compositions have been investigated to study the effect of the relative number of ALD oxide cycles on the film properties to obtain a high refractive index coating with low optical losses, low roughness, and low mechanical stress. The formation of crystalline TiO2 observed at high deposition temperature, or film thickness was inhibited by periodically introducing ultra-thin amorphous layers into the film. Only 4 ALD cycles of Al2O3 (corresponding to ca. 0.5 nm) between 335 ALD cycles of TiO2 (ca. 11 nm) form a closed, distinct layer suppressing the crystallization in TiO2 film. Consequently, the roughness of the pure TiO2 film is reduced from ca. 20 nm rms to 1 nm rms in the 335/4 nanolaminate, with only a slight decrease of the refractive index from 2.46 to 2.44 in 100 nm pure TiO2 and the nanolaminate, respectively. The refractive indices of the nanolaminates in various compositions vary between 2.38 and 2.50 at 632 nm, and the corresponding optical losses from the films are low. The mechanical stress was reduced to about 140 MPa in several TiO2/Al2O3 nanolaminates; however, lower mechanical stress has not been obtained with the studied compositions. The nanolaminate structure is preserved up to 600 C annealing temperature. After annealing at 800 C, the individual layers interdiffuse into each other so that no distinct nanolaminate structure is detected. By using TiO2/Al2O3 nanolaminates with reduced mechanical stress, a narrow bandpass filter was realized on various substrates, including half-ball and aspherical lenses.