Atomic Layer Deposition Ultra-Barriers for Electronic Applications—Strategies and Implementation

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We show that Al2O3 thin films, grown by atomic layer deposition (ALD) on polyester, are ultra-barriers with moisture permeation <10−5 g-H2O/m2-day, as determined after aging for more than three years. We present evidence that the mechanism for gas permeation in ALD Al2O3 films is not due to pinholes, but that the onset of permeation occurs abruptly, analogous to electrical breakdown in oxide thin films. We show that the permeation onset time increases for thicker Al2O3 films and higher ALD process temperature, for which the hydrogen defect concentration in Al2O3 films is less. Further, we show that mild plasma treatment of the polyester, prior to ALD deposition of Al2O3, makes the surface more hydrophilic and reduces moisture permeation compared to an untreated surface. Similarly, ALD deposition on the bare or non-slip side of the polyester film is preferred for low permeation.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2011

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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