Comparison of AlF3thin films grown by thermal and plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition

Daniel C. Messina, Brianna S. Eller, Paul Scowen, Robert J. Nemanich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Films of aluminum fluoride (AlF3) deposited by thermal and plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) have been compared using in situ multiwavelength ellipsometry (MWE) and monochromatic x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The AlF3 films were grown using cyclic exposures of trimethylaluminum, hydrogen fluoride, and H radicals from a remote H2 inductively coupled plasma. Films were characterized in situ using MWE and XPS for growth rate, film composition, and impurity incorporation. The MWE showed a growth rate of 1.1 and 0.7 Å per cycle, at 100 °C, for thermal and plasma enhanced ALD AlF3 films, respectively. Carbon incorporation was below the XPS detection limit. The plasma enhanced ALD AlF3 film showed the presence of Al-Al chemical states, in the Al 2p scans, suggesting the presence of Al-rich clusters with a concentration of 14%. The Al-rich clusters are thought to originate during the hydrogen plasma step of the PEALD process. The Al-rich clusters were not detected in thermal ALD AlF3 films using the same precursors and substrate temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012404
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of AlF3thin films grown by thermal and plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this