Plasma assisted atomic layer deposition (PA-ALD) is a low temperature conformal layer-by-layer deposition technique that is based on a pair of self-terminating and self-limiting gas-surface half-reactions, in which at least one half-reaction involves species from a plasma. This approach generally offers the benefit of substantially reduced growth temperatures and greater flexibility in tailoring the gas phase chemistry to produce varying film characteristics. The flexibility and lower growth temperatures that plasmas provide come at the cost of a complex array of process variables that often require great care on the part of the user.
In response to this challenge, this work focuses on the use of plasma diagnostics to inform the choice of process conditions for PA-ALD systems. In this work we employ optical emission spectroscopy and charged particle collectors to characterize a Fiji 200 (Ultratech/CNT) PA-ALD tool. In particular, we assess the total ion flux reaching the substrate surface and the relative fractions of atomic and molecular species generated in the plasma under a variety of pressures and gas input flow fractions in the context of PA-ALD of AlN and Ga2O3films. Changes in plasma parameters are then linked with changes in film characteristics.
* This work supported by the Naval Research Laboratory Base Program