High Rate Deposition of Piezoelectric AlScN Films by Reactive Magnetron Sputtering from AlSc Alloy Targets on Large Area
This paper reports on the deposition and characterization of piezoelectric AlXSc1-XN (further: AlScN) films on Si substrates using AlSc alloy targets with 30 at.% Sc. Films were deposited on a Ø200 mm area with deposition rates of 200 nm/min using a reactive magnetron sputtering process with a unipolar–bipolar hybrid pulse mode of FEP. The homogeneity of film composition, structural properties and piezoelectric properties were investigated depending on process parameters, especially the pulse mode of powering in unipolar–bipolar hybrid pulse mode operation. Characterization methods include energy-dispersive spectrometry of X-ray (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM) and double-beam laser interferometry (DBLI). The film composition was Al0.695Sc0.295N. The films showed good homogeneity of film structure with full width at half maximum (FWHM) of AlScN(002) rocking curves at 2.2 ± 0.1° over the whole coating area when deposited with higher share of unipolar pulse mode during film growth. For a higher share of bipolar pulse mode, the films showed a much larger c-lattice parameter in the center of the coating area, indicating high in-plane compressive stress in the films. Rocking curve FWHM also showed similar values of 1.5° at the center to 3° at outer edge. The piezoelectric characterization method revealed homogenous d33,f of 11–12 pm/V for films deposited at a high share of unipolar pulse mode and distribution of 7–10 pm/V for a lower share of unipolar pulse mode. The films exhibited ferroelectric switching behavior with coercive fields of around 3–3.5 MV/cm and polarization of 80–120 µC/cm².