A study on the influence of ligand variation on formamidinate complexes of yttrium: New precursors for atomic layer deposition of yttrium oxide

Beer, S.M.J. and Boysen, N. and Muriqi, A. and Zanders, D. and Berning, T. and Rogalla, D. and Bock, C. and Nolan, M. and Devi, A.

Volume: 50 Pages: 12944-12956
DOI: 10.1039/d1dt01634b
Published: 2021

The synthesis and characterization of a series of closely related Y(iii) compounds comprising the formamidinate ligands (RNCHNR) (R = alkyl) is reported, with the scope of using them as prospective precursors for atomic layer deposition (ALD) of yttrium oxide (Y2O3) thin films. The influence of the side chain variation on the thermal properties of the resulting complexes is studied and benchmarked by thermal analysis and vapor pressure measurements. Density functional theory (DFT) studies give theoretical insights into the reactivity of the compounds towards water, which was targeted as a co-reactant for the deposition of Y2O3via thermal ALD in the next step. Among the four complexes analyzed, tris(N,N′-di-tert-butyl-formamidinato)yttrium(iii) [Y(tBu2-famd)3] 1 was found to possess enhanced thermal stability and was selected for Y2O3 ALD process development. A broad ALD window ranging from 200 °C to 325 °C was obtained, yielding films of high compositional quality. Furthermore, with a film density of (4.95 ± 0.05) g cm-1 close to the bulk value, polycrystalline fcc Y2O3 layers with a smooth topography resulted in promising dielectric properties when implemented in metal insulator semiconductor (MIS) capacitor structures. © 2021 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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