The reaction mechanism of area-selective atomic layer deposition (AS-ALD) of Al2O3 thin films using self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) was systematically investigated by theoretical and experimental studies. Trimethylaluminum (TMA) and H2O were used as the precursor and oxidant, respectively, with octadecylphosphonic acid (ODPA) as an SAM to block Al2O3 film formation. However, Al2O3 layers began to form on the ODPA SAMs after several cycles, despite reports that CH3-terminated SAMs cannot react with TMA. We showed that TMA does not react chemically with the SAM but is physically adsorbed, acting as a nucleation site for Al2O3 film growth. Moreover, the amount of physisorbed TMA was affected by the partial pressure. By controlling it, we developed a new AS-ALD Al2O3 process with high selectivity, which produces films of ∼60 nm thickness over 370 cycles. The successful deposition of Al2O3 thin film patterns using this process is a breakthrough technique in the field of nanotechnology.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)