Monday, April 15, 2024

A New Zr Precursor Enhances Wafer-Scale Zirconium Dioxide Films

A new class of Zirconium (Zr) precursor, featuring boratabenzene ligand, has been developed by a team led by Mohd Zahid Ansari at Yeungnam University, enabling the production of highly conformal ZrO2 thin films via Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD). This innovation, detailed in a recent study published in Science Advances, uses tris(dimethylamido)dimethylamidoboratabenzene zirconium and oxygen as reactants to achieve amorphous ZrO2 films at temperatures ranging from 150–350 °C on SiO2/Si substrates.

The new approach decouples the conventional ALD process, enhancing the deposition temperature window and achieving a growth per cycle of 0.87 Å, which surpasses previous methods using different Zr precursors. The films exhibit extreme conformality with complete step coverage, even on substrates with complex topographies, marking a significant advancement in semiconductor fabrication.

This development not only streamlines the manufacturing process by using O2 as a mild oxidant but also promotes safer and more efficient production methods. The films transition into nanocrystalline cubic ZrO2 upon annealing at 850 °C, enhancing their properties for potential use in high-temperature applications and as coatings for optical filters. The research team's breakthrough paves the way for next-generation semiconductor devices with improved performance and reliability.

The use of ZrO2 in DRAM helps in addressing several challenges associated with the miniaturization of memory devices. As device dimensions continue to shrink, traditional silicon dioxide (SiO2) used in older generations of DRAM becomes less effective due to increased leakage currents and decreased reliability. ZrO2, with its higher dielectric constant, allows for greater data storage capacity and improved efficiency without compromising the device's size or power requirements.

Source: New class of Zr precursor containing boratabenzene ligand enabling highly conformal wafer-scale zirconium dioxide thin films through atomic layer deposition - ScienceDirect

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