Electrical and Optical Properties of IrO2 Thin Films Prepared by Laser ablation

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Electrical and Optical Properties of IrO

2

Thin Films

Prepared by Laser-ablation

Yuxue Liu, Hiroshi Masumoto and Takashi Goto

Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan

IrO2thin films were prepared by laser ablation using an Ir target at substrate temperatures (Tsub) from room temperature (RT) to 873 K in an

oxygen atmosphere. A small amount of Ir metal was contained in IrO2films prepared atTsub¼RT. The lattice parameters particularly a-axis

values decreased with increasingTsub, and the values werea¼0:452nm,c¼0:315nm atTsub¼873K in agreement with those of bulk IrO2.

The surface roughness increased from 1.2 to 5.2 nm with increasingTsub. These values imply that the IrO2films were far smoother than those

prepared by MOCVD and sputtering. The electrical conductivity of IrO2films prepared atTsub¼RTchanged from semiconductor-like to

metallic behavior after a heat-treatment; on the other hand, those prepared atTsub>573K were metallic without changing after heat-treatment.

The IrO2films prepared atTsub¼873K showed the highest electrical conductivity of37108m at RT. The optical transmittance of IrO2

thin films were mainly dependent on thickness and surface roughness, and were around 10% at a wavelength range from 300 to 800 nm.

(Received July 12, 2004; Accepted August 24, 2004)

Keywords: IrO2film, Glancing angle incidence X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectra, AFM, Resistivity, Transmittance

1. Introduction

Iridium oxide thin films have attracted attentions as an excellent bottom electrode and a good thermal barrier layer between Si wafers and capacitor dielectrics such as (Ba,Sr)TiO3or (Pb,Zr)TiO3thin films in memory devices.1,2)

IrO2thin films can be formed by oxidization of Ir thin films in

O2at above 773 K. Since Ir was not easily oxidized to form

pure IrO2below 973 K, Ir phase may exist in IrO2thin films.

However, at high oxidization temperature over 973 K, Ir may easily evaporate to form IrO3 vapor. We have reported that

pure IrO2 thin films with low resistivity and high

trans-mittance were prepared by oxidization of Ir thin films with embedding in IrO2 powder.3) In the oxidation process, the

thickness and surface morphology of IrO2 thin films can be

hardly controlled. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare IrO2

thin films without post heat-treatment, i.e., as-deposited highly pure IrO2thin films. Although as-deposited IrO2 thin

films have been prepared by using several methods, such as sputtering and laser ablation,4,5)the performance, particular-ly, electrical resistivity and optical transmittance of IrO2thin

films have not been well characterized. In this paper, the effect of substrate temperature on structure, electrical resistivity and optical transmittance of IrO2 thin films

prepared by laser ablation were investigated.

2. Experiment

IrO2 thin films were deposited on silica substrates in

oxygen ambient at an oxygen pressure of 13.3 Pa and the substrate temperatures (Tsub) of room temperature (RT) to 873 K by ablating an Ir target (2 cm in diameter) using a pulsed Nd:YAG laser at a wavelength of 355 nm. A laser beam (pulse energy: 170 mJ, pulse width: 15 ns and repetition rate: 10 Hz) was focused onto the Ir target at 45 angle. The

substrates were placed parallel to the Ir target at a distance of 6 cm. The thicknesses of IrO2 thin films deposited on silica

substrates were determined by a talystep profiler (Rank Taylor Hobson).

The X-ray diffraction (XRD, Rigaku RAD-C) and the glancing angle incidence X-ray diffraction (GIXRD, Rigaku Rotaflex RU-200B) were used to analyze the structure of IrO2

thin films at incidence angles () of 2. The chemical binding

state of IrO2 thin films was investigated by micro-X-ray

photoelectron spectroscopy (micro-XPS) using Al K radi-ation (Surface Science Instruments SSI-100). No Ar ion sputtering was conducted to avoid the decomposition of IrO2

thin films during the sputtering. The tapping mode AFM images were taken using a Digital Instruments Nanoscope III, multimode atomic force microscope. An Si tip with end tip diameter of 5–10 nm and 300 kHz resonant oscillating frequency were used for the tapping mode imaging. The resistivity was measured in the temperature range from 100 to 773 K by a van der Pauw method. The optical transmission was studied by using a UV-VIS-NIR spectrophotometer (Shimadzu UV-3101PC).

3. Results and Discussion

Figure 1 shows the conventional XRD patterns of IrO2thin

films prepared in O2 at Tsub¼RT to 873 K. All IrO2 thin

films showed excellent adherence to the substrates. At

Tsub ¼RT, a broad diffraction peak at around 34 can be observed. This broad diffraction peak can be attributed to the formation of amorphous IrO2 thin films.6)AtTsub >573K,

IrO2 diffraction peaks with tetragonal structure appeared.

The diffraction peaks shifted to higher angle and the line width of the diffraction peaks narrowed as the substrate temperature increased. The shift to higher angles of XRD peak and the narrowing of diffraction peaks were attributed to the improvement of crystallinity and local disorder.6) The

angle positions of the IrO2(110), (101) and (211) diffraction

peaks were insensitive to the substrate temperature. On the other hand, the (200) diffraction peaks greatly shifted to higher angles compared with that powder IrO2 as the

substrate temperature increased. The lattice parameters of a- and c-axis for IrO2 thin films prepared at Tsub¼873K

were calculated as 0.452 and 0.315 nm, respectively. These

Materials Transactions, Vol. 45, No. 10 (2004) pp. 3023 to 3027

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values were in agreement with those of bulk IrO2

(a¼0:450nm andc¼0:315nm).7)The shift of IrO 2(200)

diffraction peaks from its normal powder IrO2value could be

associated with the change in the lattice parameter of IrO2

thin films. By the calculation from IrO2 (200) diffraction

peak, the lengths of a-axis for IrO2 thin films prepared at Tsub ¼573, 723 and 873 K were 0.469, 0.462 and 0.452 nm, respectively. The lattice parameter of a-axis of IrO2thin films

might decrease with increasing the substrate temperature. The distortion of lattice along the a-axis could be attributed to the lattice strain between IrO2 thin films and the substrates

and a relatively large amount of lattice defects such as oxide vacancy particularly at lower substrate temperature. This result was consistent with that of the sputtered IrO2films.8)

Figure 2 shows the GIXRD patterns (¼2) of IrO 2 thin

films prepared in O2 at Tsub¼RT to 873 K. For IrO2 thin

films prepared at Tsub¼873K, the intensity ratio of the conventional XRD and GIXRD patterns was similar. This result suggested that the orientation and grain size of IrO2

were not changed from the surface to inside the film. For IrO2

thin films prepared at Tsub¼573 and 723 K, the intensity ratio of IrO2(101) diffraction peak to that of IrO2(200) was

significantly different between conventional XRD and GIXRD. Since the GIXRD indicates the information near the surface, (101) oriented IrO2 grains mainly distributed

near the surface of the IrO2thin films.

Figure 3 demonstrates the micro-XPS spectra from Ir 4f core levels for the Ir (Fig. 3(a)) and IrO2 thin films prepared

in O2 atTsub ¼RT to 873 K (Fig. 3(b) to (e)). The binding

energies were calibrated using the C 1s peak as reference energy (284.6 eV). The doublet peaks at 60 to 65 eV are originated from Ir 4f7=2 and Ir 4f5=2.9)By deconvoluting the

spectra, the binding energies of Ir 4f7=2for the Ir and the IrO2

thin films prepared atTsub ¼RTto 873 K were 61.1 and 61.5 to 61.9 eV, respectively. Each spectrum was deconvoluted by the Gaussian and Lorentzian functions and the Shirley background substraction. The Ir 4f7=2and Ir 4f5=2peaks were

fitted including the Doniac-Sunjic function due to the interaction of photoelectrons with valence band levels during the photoemission process. The asymmetric parameters for the Ir 4f7=2and Ir 4f5=2peaks were in the range of 0.26–0.29.

These asymmetric parameter values were almost the same as that of IrO2 films prepared by oxidization of Ir (0.29).3)For

the Ir thin film, the Ir 4f7=2 binding energy was consistent

with that of pure Ir (60.9 eV).10) The slight higher Ir 4f 7=2

binding energy of IrO2thin films prepared atTsub¼RTthan

that of Ir thin films suggested that Ir phase may exist in the IrO2 thin films. The shapes of the XPS spectra for the IrO2

thin films prepared at Tsub>573K were almost identical. The Ir 4f7=2 binding energy for the IrO2 thin films slightly

increased with increasing the substrate temperature. The Ir

Fig. 1 Conventional XRD patterns of IrO2thin films prepared in O2at the

substrate temperature of room temperature (a), 573 K (b), 723 K (c) and 873 K (d).

Fig. 2 GIXRD patterns of IrO2thin films prepared in O2at the substrate

temperature of room temperature (a), 573 K (b), 723 K (c) and 873 K (d).

Fig. 3 The micro-XPS spectra from Ir 4f core levels for the Ir (a) and IrO2

thin films prepared in O2at the substrate temperature of room temperature

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4f7=2 binding energy of the IrO2 thin films prepared at Tsub ¼873K (61.9 eV) was almost in agreement with that of reported value (62.2 eV).11)

Figure 4 depicts three-dimensional tapping mode AFM images of the surface of IrO2thin films prepared atTsub ¼RT

and 873 K. The thicknesses of IrO2 thin films prepared at Tsub ¼RT, 573, 723 and 873 K were 80, 100, 120 and 60 nm, respectively. Figure 5 demonstrates the root-mean-square roughness (Rms) and the growth rate of IrO2 thin films as a

function of substrate temperature. The IrO2 thin films

prepared at Tsub ¼RT were smooth with the Rms of

0.48 nm. The surface roughness of IrO2thin films increased

from 1.2 to 5.2 nm with increasing the substrate temperature from 573 to 873 K. It was reported that the surface rough-nesses of IrO2 thin films prepared by MOCVD and reactive

sputtering methods ranged from 10–20 nm.12)Therefore, the

surface of IrO2 thin films prepared by laser ablation was

smoother than that prepared by the other methods. The growth rate increased with increasing the substrate temper-ature in the range from RT to 723 K. As the substrate temperature was further increased to 873 K, the growth rate of IrO2thin films decreased. The decrease of the growth rate

of IrO2thin films prepared at 873 K could be attributed to the

formation of IrO3 vapor at high temperatures.3)The

evapo-ration of IrO2 thin films may be also associated with the

increase in the Rms at the high substrate temperatures. Figure 6 shows the resistivity of IrO2thin films prepared at Tsub ¼RTto 873 K as a function of temperature. The IrO2

thin films prepared atTsub¼RTshowed semiconductor-like conduction behavior (Fig. 6(a)). Above 500 K, the resistivity greatly decreased with increasing temperature due to the annealing effect. When the resistivity of IrO2 thin films

prepared at Tsub¼RT was measured under decreasing temperature condition, metallic conduction behavior of IrO2

thin films was observed (Fig. 6(b)). This result suggested that IrO2 thin films prepared at RT were not well-stabilized

probably containing a significant amount of defects. The improvement of crystallization could cause the decrease of

Fig. 4 Three-dimensional tapping mode AFM images of the surface of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at the substrate temperature of room

temperature (a) and 873 K (b).

Fig. 5 The root-mean-square roughness and the growth rate of IrO2thin

films as a function of substrate temperature.

Fig. 6 Resistivities of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at the substrate

temperature of room temperature under increasing (a) and decreasing (b) temperature conditions, 573 K (c), 723 K (d) and 873 K (e) as a function of temperature.

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the resistivity at 773 K. The resistivities were measured under increasing and decreasing temperature, then the IrO2 thin

films prepared at Tsub >573K had almost the similar positive temperature coefficient of resistivity exhibiting metallic conduction behavior. At room temperature, the resistivity of IrO2thin films prepared atTsub¼573, 723, and

873 K were 161, 87 and 37108m, respectively. The resistivity of37108m was close to that reported in the

literatures for bulk (110) IrO2 (34:5108m).13) The

decrease of the resistivity with the substrate temperature would be associated with the change of lattice parameter. The smaller lattice parameter could suggest fewer defects in the IrO2thin films yielding smaller resistivity.

Figure 7 depicts the transmittance spectra of IrO2 thin

films prepared atTsub¼RTto 873 K. The low transmittance of the IrO2thin films prepared atTsub¼RTcan be attributed

to the existence of Ir phase and lattice defects in IrO2 thin

films. The transmittance of IrO2thin films prepared atTsub¼ RTto 723 K increased with increasing the substrate temper-ature probably due to the decrease in the defects in IrO2 thin

films. The transmittance of IrO2 thin films prepared at Tsub ¼873K was smaller than that prepared atTsub ¼723K. This might be originated from the surfacing scattering due to the larger surface roughness of IrO2 thin films prepared at

Tsub ¼873K.

The IrO2 thin films with different thickness prepared at Tsub ¼723K in O2 were used to study the thickness

dependence of the resistivity and transmittance. Figure 8 shows the temperature dependence of resistivity for IrO2thin

films prepared at Tsub ¼723K with the thickness of 35– 120 nm. The IrO2thin films with different thickness showed

metallic conduction behavior. The resistivity of IrO2 thin

films increased with decreasing thickness. It is the general trend that the resistivity of thin films increases with decreasing thickness, which is called as the Fuchs size effect.14)The resistivity of IrO2 thin films was reproductive

after several high temperature measurements.

Figure 9 depicts the effect of thickness on the trans-mittance spectra of IrO2thin films prepared atTsub ¼723K.

The transmittance decreased with increasing thickness. The thinner IrO2 thin films had higher transmittance in a visible

light region. The absorption of IrO2thin films in wavelength

range from 400 to 800 nm can be assigned to d-electrons intra-band transition.15)

4. Conclusions

IrO2thin films were prepared by laser ablation at substrate

temperatures from RT to 873 K in an oxygen atmosphere. The XPS results suggested that Ir phase existed in IrO2thin

films prepared at RT and pure IrO2thin films were prepared

over 573 K. As the substrate temperature increased, the

Fig. 7 Transmittance spectra of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at the

substrate temperature of room temperature (a), 573 K (b), 723 K (c) and 873 K (d).

Fig. 8 Resistivities of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at the substrate

temperature of 723 K with the thickness of 35 nm (a), 70 nm (b) and 120 nm (c) as a function of temperature.

Fig. 9 Transmittance spectra of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at the

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surface roughness of IrO2 thin films increased from 0.48 to

5.2 nm. IrO2thin films prepared at RT showed

semiconduc-tor-like conduction behavior. IrO2 thin films prepared at the

substrate temperature above 573 K exhibited metallic con-duction behaviors. The room temperature resistivities of IrO2

thin films decreased from 231 to 37108m with

increasing substrate temperature. As the substrate temper-ature increased, the transmittance of IrO2thin films

increas-ed. The increase of IrO2 thin film thickness resulted in the

decrease of its resistivity and transmittance.

Acknowledgements

The authors thank to Furuya metal Co. Ltd. and Lonmin PLC for financial support. Yuxue Liu is grateful to Ministry of Education of China and Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

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Figure

Fig. 1Conventional XRD patterns of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at thesubstrate temperature of room temperature (a), 573 K (b), 723 K (c) and873 K (d).
Fig. 1Conventional XRD patterns of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at thesubstrate temperature of room temperature (a), 573 K (b), 723 K (c) and873 K (d). p.2
Fig. 3The micro-XPS spectra from Ir 4f core levels for the Ir (a) and IrO2thin films prepared in O2 at the substrate temperature of room temperature(b), 573 K (c), 723 K (d) and 873 K (e).
Fig. 3The micro-XPS spectra from Ir 4f core levels for the Ir (a) and IrO2thin films prepared in O2 at the substrate temperature of room temperature(b), 573 K (c), 723 K (d) and 873 K (e). p.2
Figure 2 shows the GIXRD patterns (� ¼ 2�) of IrO2 thin

Figure 2

shows the GIXRD patterns (� ¼ 2�) of IrO2 thin p.2
Fig. 5The root-mean-square roughness and the growth rate of IrO2 thinfilms as a function of substrate temperature.
Fig. 5The root-mean-square roughness and the growth rate of IrO2 thinfilms as a function of substrate temperature. p.3
Fig. 4Three-dimensional tapping mode AFM images of the surface ofIrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at the substrate temperature of roomtemperature (a) and 873 K (b).
Fig. 4Three-dimensional tapping mode AFM images of the surface ofIrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at the substrate temperature of roomtemperature (a) and 873 K (b). p.3
Figure 4 depicts three-dimensional tapping mode AFM

Figure 4

depicts three-dimensional tapping mode AFM p.3
Fig. 7Transmittance spectra of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at thesubstrate temperature of room temperature (a), 573 K (b), 723 K (c) and873 K (d).
Fig. 7Transmittance spectra of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at thesubstrate temperature of room temperature (a), 573 K (b), 723 K (c) and873 K (d). p.4
Fig. 8Resistivities of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at the substratetemperature of 723 K with the thickness of 35 nm (a), 70 nm (b) and120 nm (c) as a function of temperature.
Fig. 8Resistivities of IrO2 thin films prepared in O2 at the substratetemperature of 723 K with the thickness of 35 nm (a), 70 nm (b) and120 nm (c) as a function of temperature. p.4
Figure 7 depicts the transmittance spectra of IrO thin films yielding smaller resistivity.of the IrOThis might be originated from the surfacing scattering due tothe larger surface roughness of IrOto the existence of Ir phase and lattice defects in IrOTfilms

Figure 7

depicts the transmittance spectra of IrO thin films yielding smaller resistivity.of the IrOThis might be originated from the surfacing scattering due tothe larger surface roughness of IrOto the existence of Ir phase and lattice defects in IrOTfilms p.4

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