This work presents the low temperature plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PE-ALD) of TiN, a promising plasmonic synthetic metal. The plasmonics community has immediate needs for alternatives to traditional plasmonic materials (e.g. Ag and Au), which lack chemical, thermal, and mechanical stability. Plasmonic alloys and synthetic metals have significantly improved stability, but their growth can require high-temperatures (>400 °C), and it is difficult to control the thickness and directionality of the resulting film, especially on technologically important substrates. Such issues prevent the application of alternative plasmonic materials for both fundamental studies and large-scale industrial applications. Alternatively, PE-ALD allows for conformal deposition on a variety of substrates with consistent material properties. This conformal coating will allow the creation of exotic three-dimensional structures, and low-temperature deposition techniques will provide unrestricted usage across a variety of platforms. The characterization of this new plasmonic material was performed with in-situ spectroscopic ellipsometry as well as Auger electron spectroscopy for analysis of TiN film sensitivity to oxide cross-contamination. Plasmonic TiN films were fabricated, and a chlorine plasma etch was found to pattern two dimensional gratings as a test structure. Optical measurements of 900 nm period gratings showed reasonable agreement with theoretical modeling of the fabricated structures, indicating that ellipsometry models of the TiN were indeed accurate.
Lauren M. Otto, Aaron T. Hammack, Shaul Aloni, D. Frank Ogletree, Deirdre L. Olynick, Scott Dhuey, Bethanie J. H. Stadler, and Adam M. Schwartzberg, "Plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition for plasmonic TiN," Proc. SPIE 9919, Nanophotonic Materials XIII, 99190N (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 31, 2016; Published: 3 October 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238340.
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