Computational investigation of precursor blocking during area-selective atomic layer deposition using aniline as a small molecule inhibitor

I. Tezsevin, J.F.W. Maas, M.J.M. Merkx, R. Lengers, W.M.M. Kessels, T.E. Sandoval, A.J.M. Mackus (Corresponding author)

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftTijdschriftartikelAcademicpeer review

7 Citaten (Scopus)
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Area-selective atomic layer deposition using small-molecule inhibitors (SMIs) involves vapor-phase dosing of inhibitor molecules, resulting in an industry-compatible approach. However, the identification of suitable SMIs that yield a high selectivity remains a challenging task. Recently, aniline (C 6H 5NH 2) was shown to be an effective SMI during the area-selective deposition (ASD) of TiN, giving 6 nm of selective growth on SiO 2 in the presence of Ru and Co non-growth areas. In this work, using density functional theory (DFT) and random sequential adsorption (RSA) simulations, we investigated how aniline can effectively block precursor adsorption on specific areas. Our DFT calculations confirmed that aniline selectively adsorbs on Ru and Co non-growth areas, whereas its adsorption on the SiO 2 growth area is limited to physisorption. DFT reveals two stable adsorption configurations of aniline on the metal surfaces. Further calculations on the aniline-functionalized surfaces show that the aniline inhibitor significantly reduces the interaction of Ti precursor, tetrakis(dimethylamino)titanium, with the non-growth area. In addition, RSA simulations showed that the co-presence of two stable adsorption configurations allows for a high surface inhibitor coverage on both Co and Ru surfaces. As the surface saturates, there is a transition from the thermodynamically most favorable adsorption configuration to the sterically most favorable adsorption configuration, which results in a sufficiently dense inhibition layer, such that an incoming precursor molecule cannot fit in between the adsorbed precursor molecules. We also found that, as a result of the catalytic activity of the metallic non-growth area, further reactions of inhibitor molecules, such as hydrogenolysis, can play a role in precursor blocking.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)4265-4273
Aantal pagina's9
Nummer van het tijdschrift12
Vroegere onlinedatum15 mrt. 2023
StatusGepubliceerd - 28 mrt. 2023


Surf, Stichting
Intel Corporation18363
European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme949202
European Research Council
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk OnderzoekANID/ACT210059


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