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Crack formation due to annealing of Al2O3 films grown on Si(100) by MOCVD

Singh, MP and Shivashankar, SA (2002) Crack formation due to annealing of Al2O3 films grown on Si(100) by MOCVD. In: MRS Proceedings, 749 .

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We report crack formation in alumina films grown on Si(100), caused by annealing in a controlled oxidizing ambient. The films were grown in a low-pressure CVD reactor, using aluminium acetylacetonate as precursor. High purity argon and nitrous oxide were employed as carrier and oxidizing gas, respectively. The films were characterized by optical microscopy and SEM/EDAX. The proportion and chemical nature of the heteroatoms, namely C and H, incorporated into the films from the precursor, were characterized by XPS, and FTIR. As-deposited films do not exhibit any cracks, while post-deposition annealing results in cracks. Apart from the delamination of the films, annealing in nitrous oxide ambient leads to an unusual crack geometry, which we term the “railway-track”. These twin cracks are very straight and run parallel to each other for as much as several millimeters. Often, two such linear tracks meet at exactly 90°. Between some of these tracks lie bullet-like structures with very sharp tips, oriented in a specific direction. As cracks are generally activated by residual stress, both thermal and intrinsic, the origins of the stresses that generate these linear cracks are discussed. The redistribution of stress, arising from the removal of C and H during annealing, will also be discussed. An attempt has been made to correlate the formation of cracks with the crystal structure of the film.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Cambridge University Press.
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Materials Research Centre
Depositing User: Ms TV Yashodha
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2011 07:03
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2011 07:03
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/39933

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