Morphological characterization and porosity profiles of tantalum glancing-angle-deposited thin films

Tobias Ott, Gerald Gerlach
2020 Journal of Sensors and Sensor Systems  
Abstract. Glancing angle deposition (GLAD) is a physical vapor deposition (PVD) process using a substrate that rotates tilted at an angle to the evaporation source. Depending on the deposition conditions, it provides the controlled formation of regular nanostructures during the PVD process. As a result, a wide variety of shapes, such as spirals or vertical columns, can be easily fabricated in the nanometer range. For this reason, GLAD has already been proven reliable in the production of
more » ... roduction of optical coatings with very low reflectance in a broad spectral range.This paper examines the morphology of tantalum nanostructures deposited on planar silicon substrates by electron beam evaporation. The prepared samples are characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM) images at a breaking edge with respect to the layer structure and by focused ion beam (FIB) SEM images of the cross-sectional areas with respect to the porosity. The porosity can be used to model the optical properties of the thin film with the effective medium theory (EMT). Our work studies the relationship between the evaporation parameters (growth pitch and deposition angle) and thin film morphology of tantalum so that in future work the optical properties can be linked to the deposition parameters, which in turn can be chosen to achieve highly absorbent infrared radiation layers, e.g., for infrared sensors. It was shown that the porosity across the film thickness of both columnar and screw-like thin films is nearly constant, whereas the porosity profiles of spiral structures show a periodic pattern, the period of which seems to depend on the growth pitch.
doi:10.5194/jsss-9-79-2020 fatcat:irbkvn5c2jcmhfmokzz2lsyqua