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On the Reliability of Heteronuclear Precursors-Ligand Effects in the Li-MOCVD Synthesis of SrTiO3 Films

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Strontium titanate SrTiO3 thin films are highly perspective as gate dielectric material. Difference in volatility of the common homometallic precursors-strontium beta-diketonates and titanium alkoxides remains major hinder for preparation of high quality coatings based on this phase. An attractive alternative in its synthesis by MOCVD is provided by application of heterometallic mixed-ligand complexes, Sr2Ti2(β-diket)4(OR)8(ROH) x . Mass-spectrometric study reveals, however, that none of these species can be considered a true single-source precursor. The relative stability of the molecules in solution and the congruence of in-situ release of homometallic species on evaporation are, on the other hand, crucial for the quality of the produced films and are strongly influenced by the nature of alkoxide ligands, OR. The historically first discovered representative of this heterometallic family, a sec-alkoxide derivative Sr2Ti2(thd)4(O i Pr)8, is in fact unexpectedly unstable, transforming in solution into Sr2Ti(thd)4(O i Pr)4( i PrOH), which explains difficulties in keeping the correct stoichiometry using isopropoxide precursor. The primary alkoxide complexes, Sr2Ti2(thd)4(OR)8(ROH)2, R = Et, n Pr are also unstable yielding Sr4Ti2(thd)4(OR)8(ROH)2 on decomposition. The best solution stability and most uniform evaporation was observed for the iso-derivative, Sr2Ti2(thd)4(O i Bu)8, permitting to apply it in long term experiments under industrial process conditions. Present contribution provides detailed experimental comparison between and sec-and iso-alkoxide derivatives and sheds light on the influence of the ligand on molecular stability of a precursor and how it influences the quality of the derived oxide film, especially in relation to its electrophysical properties.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-09-01

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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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