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Investigating the nucleation of AlOx and HfOx ALD on polyimide : influence of plasma activation

(2021) COATINGS. 11(11).
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Abstract
There is an increasing interest in atomic layer deposition (ALD) on polymers for the development of membranes, electronics, (3D) nanostructures and specially for the development of hermetic packaging of the new generation of flexible implantable micro-devices. This evolution demands a better understanding of the ALD nucleation process on polymers, which has not been reported in a visual way. Herein, a visual study of ALD nucleation on polymers is presented, based on the different dry etching speeds between polymers (fast) and metal oxides (slow). An etching process removes the polyimide with the nucleating ALD acting as a mask, making the nucleation features visible through secondary electron microscopy analyses. The nucleation of both Al2O3 and HfO2 on polyimide was investigated. Both materials followed an island-coalescence nucleation. First, local islands formed, progressively coalescing into filaments, which connected and formed meshes. These meshes evolved into porous layers that eventually grew to a full layer, marking the end of the nucleation. Cross-sections were analyzed, observing no sub-surface growth. This approach was used to evaluate the influence of plasma-activating polyimide on the nucleation. Plasma-induced oxygen functionalities provided additional surface reactive sites for the ALD precursors to adsorb and start the nucleation. The presented nucleation study proved to be a straightforward and simple way to evaluate ALD nucleation on polymers.
Keywords
ALD, nucleation, Al2O3, HfO2, polyimide, plasma, medical device, encapsulation, hermetic barriers, ATOMIC LAYER DEPOSITION, BPDA-PPD POLYIMIDE, ALUMINUM-OXIDE, SURFACE MODIFICATION, BARRIER PROPERTIES, AL2O3, POLYMER, GROWTH, FILMS, TIO2

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MLA
Astoreca Alvarez, Laura, et al. “Investigating the Nucleation of AlOx and HfOx ALD on Polyimide : Influence of Plasma Activation.” COATINGS, vol. 11, no. 11, 2021, doi:10.3390/coatings11111352.
APA
Astoreca Alvarez, L., Schaubroeck, D., Esbah Tabaei, P. S., Ghobeira, R., Op de Beeck, M., Morent, R., … De Geyter, N. (2021). Investigating the nucleation of AlOx and HfOx ALD on polyimide : influence of plasma activation. COATINGS, 11(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11111352
Chicago author-date
Astoreca Alvarez, Laura, David Schaubroeck, Parinaz Saadat Esbah Tabaei, Rouba Ghobeira, Maaike Op de Beeck, Rino Morent, Herbert De Smet, and Nathalie De Geyter. 2021. “Investigating the Nucleation of AlOx and HfOx ALD on Polyimide : Influence of Plasma Activation.” COATINGS 11 (11). https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings11111352.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Astoreca Alvarez, Laura, David Schaubroeck, Parinaz Saadat Esbah Tabaei, Rouba Ghobeira, Maaike Op de Beeck, Rino Morent, Herbert De Smet, and Nathalie De Geyter. 2021. “Investigating the Nucleation of AlOx and HfOx ALD on Polyimide : Influence of Plasma Activation.” COATINGS 11 (11). doi:10.3390/coatings11111352.
Vancouver
1.
Astoreca Alvarez L, Schaubroeck D, Esbah Tabaei PS, Ghobeira R, Op de Beeck M, Morent R, et al. Investigating the nucleation of AlOx and HfOx ALD on polyimide : influence of plasma activation. COATINGS. 2021;11(11).
IEEE
[1]
L. Astoreca Alvarez et al., “Investigating the nucleation of AlOx and HfOx ALD on polyimide : influence of plasma activation,” COATINGS, vol. 11, no. 11, 2021.
@article{8726048,
  abstract     = {{There is an increasing interest in atomic layer deposition (ALD) on polymers for the development of membranes, electronics, (3D) nanostructures and specially for the development of hermetic packaging of the new generation of flexible implantable micro-devices. This evolution demands a better understanding of the ALD nucleation process on polymers, which has not been reported in a visual way. Herein, a visual study of ALD nucleation on polymers is presented, based on the different dry etching speeds between polymers (fast) and metal oxides (slow). An etching process removes the polyimide with the nucleating ALD acting as a mask, making the nucleation features visible through secondary electron microscopy analyses. The nucleation of both Al2O3 and HfO2 on polyimide was investigated. Both materials followed an island-coalescence nucleation. First, local islands formed, progressively coalescing into filaments, which connected and formed meshes. These meshes evolved into porous layers that eventually grew to a full layer, marking the end of the nucleation. Cross-sections were analyzed, observing no sub-surface growth. This approach was used to evaluate the influence of plasma-activating polyimide on the nucleation. Plasma-induced oxygen functionalities provided additional surface reactive sites for the ALD precursors to adsorb and start the nucleation. The presented nucleation study proved to be a straightforward and simple way to evaluate ALD nucleation on polymers.}},
  articleno    = {{1352}},
  author       = {{Astoreca Alvarez, Laura and Schaubroeck, David and Esbah Tabaei, Parinaz Saadat and Ghobeira, Rouba and Op de Beeck, Maaike and Morent, Rino and De Smet, Herbert and De Geyter, Nathalie}},
  issn         = {{2079-6412}},
  journal      = {{COATINGS}},
  keywords     = {{ALD,nucleation,Al2O3,HfO2,polyimide,plasma,medical device,encapsulation,hermetic barriers,ATOMIC LAYER DEPOSITION,BPDA-PPD POLYIMIDE,ALUMINUM-OXIDE,SURFACE MODIFICATION,BARRIER PROPERTIES,AL2O3,POLYMER,GROWTH,FILMS,TIO2}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{11}},
  pages        = {{20}},
  title        = {{Investigating the nucleation of AlOx and HfOx ALD on polyimide : influence of plasma activation}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/coatings11111352}},
  volume       = {{11}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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