Growth mechanism of Co thin films formed by plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition using NH3 as plasma reactant
We investigated reaction mechanisms for the formation of Co thin films by plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PE-ALD) using NH 3 plasma as a counter-reactant. To investigate surface reactions during the PE-ALD Co, the process was divided into two half-reactions and these reactions were monitored using ex situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and an in situ residual gas analyzer (RGA). The cobaltocene (bis(cyclopentadienyl)-cobalt(II), CoCp 2 ) precursor reacts with the N-terminated surface formed by NH 3 plasma exposure, resulting in the formation of Co-Co bonds and the release of the Cp ligand and an N-containing byproduct. The NH 3 plasma species adsorb to Co-Cp sites and promote dissociation of Cp. Therefore, N atoms on the surface are a key medium for the deposition of Co thin films during sequential adsorption and desorption reactions between CoCp 2 and the surface. This result provides an insight into complicated chemical reactions involving PE-ALD and can be extended to other PE-ALD processes.
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