A study of CVD growth kinetics and film microstructure of zirconium dioxide from zirconium tetra-tert-butoxide

David J. Burleson, Jeffrey T. Roberts, Wayne L. Gladfelter, Stephen A. Campbell, Ryan C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of polycrystalline zirconium dioxide (ZrO2) from zirconium tetra-tert-butoxide {(Zr[OC(CH3)3]4} is described. The ZrO2 films, which were deposited on Si(100), were characterized by scanning electron microscopy, ellipsometry, X-ray diffraction, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, and Auger electron spectroscopy. Deposition was studied between 380 and 825 °C, and at precursor pressures between 4 × 10-5 and 1 × 10-4 Torr. Film microstructure depends on deposition temperature, with low temperatures (<420 °C) leading to the formation of nearly equi-axed grains, moderate temperatures (450-550 °C) producing oblate grains, and high temperatures (> 700 °C) giving rise to triangular grains. Film density decreases with increasing deposition temperature. The kinetics for steady-state ZrO2 growth were studied as functions of temperature and precursor pressure. Results were fit to a two-step kinetic model involving reversible precursor adsorption followed by irreversible decomposition to ZrO2. The induction period (ti) to growth was measured as a function of temperature for a single precursor pressure (9.4 × 10-5 Torr); ti decreases with temperature from 490 s at 381 °C to less than 1 s at 743 °C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1269-1276
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


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