Processing and characterization of RF sputtered alumina thin films.
AuthorGignac, Lynne Marie.
AdvisorRisbud, S. H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThin films of alumina were deposited on ferrite (NiₓZn₍₁₋ₓ₎Fe₂O₄), glass, single crystal silicon and graphite substrates by RF sputtering. Though standard, amorphous Al₂O₃ films are readily soluble in hot phosphoric acid, these sputtered films exhibited only reluctant etchability by the acid. Experiments were initially performed to understand the parameters in the sputtering process which were influential in the formation of unetchable films. The results showed that a high concentration of water vapor or oxygen molecules in the sputtering chamber during deposition was the most significant variable controlling the growth of unetchable films. The films were categorized according to their degree of solubility in H₃PO₄ and were examined using various microanalytical characterization techniques. TEM analysis directly showed the existence of crystalline γ-Al₂O₃ in the film at the film-substrate interface. The γ-Al₂O₃ phase grew with a preferred orientation coincident with the substrate orientation--as in heteroepitaxial growth. The occurrence of this film phase was related to the oxygen partial pressure, the substrate material, and the substrate temperature and was believed to be the cause of the film's incomplete etching behavior.
Degree ProgramMaterials Science and Engineering