Effects of Ar Addition to O2 Plasma on Plasma-Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition of Oxide Thin Films

Hanearl Jung, Il Kwon Oh, Chang Mo Yoon, Bo Eun Park, Sanghun Lee, Ohyung Kwon, Woo Jae Lee, Se Hun Kwon, Woo Hee Kim, Hyungjun Kim

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14 Citations (Scopus)


A method for significantly increasing the growth rates (GRs) of high-k oxide thin films grown via plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PE-ALD) by enhancing the plasma density through the addition of Ar gas to the O2 plasma oxidant was developed. This approach led to improvements of ∼60% in the saturation GRs of PE-ALD ZrO2, HfO2, and SiO2. Furthermore, despite the significantly higher GR enabled by PE-ALD, the mechanical and dielectric properties of the PE-ALD oxide films were similar or even superior to those of films grown via the conventional O2 plasma process. Optical emission spectroscopy analyses in conjunction with theoretical calculation of the electron energy distribution function revealed that adding Ar gas to the O2 plasma increased the density of high-energy electrons, thereby generating more O2 plasma species, such as ions and radicals, which played a key role in improving the GRs and the properties of the films. This promising approach is expected to facilitate the high-volume manufacturing of films via PE-ALD, especially for use as gate insulators in thin-film transistor-based devices in the display industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40286-40293
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 21

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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