Impurities in Hydride Gases Part 2: Investigation of Trace CO2 in the Liquid and Vapor Phases of Ultra-Pure Ammonia
Authors: Funke, Hans H.; Welchhans, Jon; Watanabe, Tadaharu; Torres, Robert; Houlding, Virginia H.; Raynor, Mark W.
Source: Journal of Electronic Materials, Volume 33, Number 8, 1 August 2004 , pp. 873-880(8)
Abstract:Ammonia (NH3) as a precursor for epitaxial nitride films is required to be free of trace oxygenated impurities, such as CO2, that have been shown to negatively affect growth processes and device performance. Carbon dioxide can react reversibly with the NH3 gas to form ammonium carbamate, NH4 COONH2 (a solid with low solubility in liquid NH3) and, therefore, can be present in cylinder sources both in the free and chemically bound form. A gas chromatograph (GC)-based method has been developed to accurately quantify the total CO2 content in both vapor- and liquid-phase NH3 streams. A heated GC-sampling manifold is used to thermally decompose any NH4COONH2 present in the sample or calibration standard so that all CO2 is analyzed in its free form. Several commercial cylinder sources maintained at room temperature were analyzed by this method, and in all cases, equilibrium concentrations of <75 parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv) CO2 were present in the gas phase as long as residual liquid was present. Slightly higher concentrations were found in the liquid phase, and upon exhaustion of the liquid phase and heating, CO2 levels strongly increased to parts-per-million by volume (ppmv) levels. The excess CO2 is likely adsorbed on the cylinder walls or dispersed in the liquid as solid NH4 COONH2 . These results are consistent with thermodynamic calculations based on equilibrium data for the carbamate system available in the literature. To meet the purity requirements of organo-metallic vapor-phase epitaxy processes, the performance of an adsorbent-based purifier that is capable of removing residual CO2 in both free and chemically bound forms from NH3 streams is discussed.
Document Type: Regular paper
Publication date: 2004-08-01