TiCp*(OMe)3 versus Ti(OMe)4 in Atomic Layer Deposition of TiO2 with Water—Ab Initio Modelling of Atomic Layer Deposition Surface Reactions

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It is a common finding that titanocene-derived precursors do not yield TiO2 films in ALD with water. For instance, ALD with Ti(OMe)4 and water gives 0.5 Å/cycle, while TiCp*(OMe)3 does not show any growth (Me = CH3, Cp* = C5(CH3)5). This is apparently in contradiction with the computed reactivity of the ligands: the energetics of hydrolysis of the gas-phase precursor indicate that TiCp*(OMe)3 is more reactive to ligand elimination than Ti(OMe)4. However such a model of precursor reactivity neglects surface reactions such as adsorption, diffusion and desorption, all of which can have an important effect on ALD growth rate. A more accurate model of the surface reaction is needed to find the reason for the different behaviours of Ti(OMe)4 and TiCp*(OMe)3 in the ALD process. The more realistic surface model is a TiO2 slab that is periodic in three dimensions. These calculations reveal that TiCp*(OMe)3 does not chemisorb in the usual way because of extreme crowding of the Ti centre by Cp* and that this prevents ALD growth.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2011.5108

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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