Atomic-scale structural evolution of Ta-Ni-Si amorphous metal thin films

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  • We investigated the thermal stability of a new ternary amorphous metal thin film, Ta₂.₄Ni₂.₂Si, and assessed its suitability as a Cu diffusion barrier for semiconductor device applications. Transmission electron microscopy was coupled with atom probe tomography to provide a detailed understanding of the atomic-scale evolution of both structure and composition as a function of annealing temperature. We show that the amorphous structure is stable up to >800 °C under ultrahigh vacuum, while annealing to 900 °C induces nano-crystallization of a single ternary phase in an amorphous matrix. The implications of crystallization and solute partitioning are examined in the context of high-temperature stability to aid in the design and understanding of this new class of thin film materials.
  • Keywords: Amorphous metal thin film, Transmission electron microscopy, Atom probe tomography
  • Keywords: Amorphous metal thin film, Transmission electron microscopy, Atom probe tomography
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  • Oleksak, R. P., Devaraj, A., & Herman, G. S. (2016). Atomic-scale structural evolution of Ta–Ni–Si amorphous metal thin films. Materials Letters, 164, 9-14. doi:10.1016/j.matlet.2015.10.112
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  • 164
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  • R. P. O. acknowledges support from the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry, which is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Grant CHE-1102637. G. S. H. acknowledges support from the Semiconductor Research Corporation under contract number 2013-OJ-2438.001. The atom probe tomography experiments in this study were supported by the science theme user proposal funding (Proposal # 47950) from William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a national scientific user facility sponsored by DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research located at PNNL. PNNL is operated by Battelle for the DOE under Contract DE-AC05-76RLO1830.
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