Atomic Layer Deposition of W:Al2O3 Nanocomposite Films with Tunable Resistivity


  • This work was supported by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences and Office of High Energy Physics under contract DE-AC02-06CH11357 as part of the Large Area Picosecond Photodetector (LAPPD) project.


Nanocomposite tungsten-aluminum oxide (W:Al2O3) thin films were prepared by atomic layer deposition (ALD) using tungsten hexafluoride (WF6) and disilane (Si2H6) for the W ALD and trimethyl aluminum (TMA) and H2O for the Al2O3 ALD. Quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) measurements performed using various W cycle percentages revealed that the W ALD inhibits the Al2O3 ALD and vice versa. Despite this inhibition, the relationship between W content and W cycle percentage was close to that predicted by theoretical calculations based on the growth per cycle values of binary compounds. Depth profiling XPS showed that the (W:Al2O3) films were uniform in composition and contained Al, O, and metallic W as expected, but also included significant F and C. Cross-sectional TEM revealed the composite film structure to be metallic nanoparticles (∼1 nm) embedded in an amorphous matrix. The resistivity of these composite films could be tuned in the range of 1012–108 Ω cm by adjusting the W cycle percentage between 10% and 30%W. These films have applications in electron multipliers as well as electron and ion optics.