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Mechanical and optical properties of as-grown and thermally annealed titanium dioxide from titanium tetrachloride and water by atomic layer deposition

: Ylivaara, Oili M.E.; Langner, Andreas; Liu, Xuwen; Schneider, Dieter; Julin, Jaakko; Arstila, Kai; Sintonen, Sakari; Ali, Saima; Lipsanen, Harri; Sajavaara, Timo; Hannula, Simo-Pekka; Puurunen, Riikka L.

Fulltext ()

Thin solid films 732 (2021), Art. 138758, 11 pp.
ISSN: 0040-6090
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IWS ()
ALD; atomic layer deposition; TiO2; residual stress; optical properties; elastic modulus; hardness

The use of thin-films made by atomic layer deposition (ALD) is increasing in the field of optical sensing. ALD TiO2 has been widely characterized for its physical and optical properties, but systematic information about the influence of thermal history to optical and mechanical properties of the film is lacking. Optical applications require planar surface and tunability of the refractive index and residual stress. In addition, mechanical properties such as elastic modulus and film hardness influence the performance of the layer, especially, when optics is integrated with microelectromechanical systems. In this work, optical properties, density, elemental analysis, residual stress, elastic modulus and hardness of as-grown ALD TiO2 thin films on silicon were studied at temperature range from 80 to 350 °C and influence of post-ALD thermal annealing was studied on films annealed up to 900 °C. ALD TiO2 films were under tensile stress in the scale of hundreds of MPa. The stress depended both on the ALD temperature and film thickness in a complex way, and onset of crystallization increased the residual stress. Films grown at 110 and 300 °C were able to withstand post-ALD annealing at 420 °C without major change in residual stress, refractive index or extinction coefficient. Elastic modulus and hardness increased upon crystallization with increasing ALD temperature. The results presented here help to improve the design of the optical devices by choosing films with desired optical properties, and further help to design the post-ALD thermal budget so that films maintain their desired features.