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NSF GOALI: Physically Based Models of Atomic Layer Deposition for High-Throughput Reactor Design

Ganesh Sundaram

Funding Agency 

National Science Foundation

Description 

With new energy, electronics, and consumer product applications, and the emergence of highthroughput reactor designs, Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is set to become a major thin-film manufacturing tool. Deposited using an alternating sequence of exposures to gas-phase precursors that would otherwise spontaneously react, ALD allows for the controlled deposition of a wide range of ultra-thin films at relatively low temperatures and potentially perfect conformality. Despite the upsurge in ALD process and equipment development, research on modeling deposition mechanisms and reaction kinetics in particular, continues to lag efforts devoted to new precursor chemistries and reactor designs. Because ALD is by its essential nature a completely dynamic process with no equivalent to steady-state deposition, the objective and primary intellectual merit of this research is to develop physically based models describing both ALD reaction rates and the changes occurring on the growth surface using transition-state (absolute rate) theory concepts.

Physically Based Models of Atomic Layer Deposition for High-Throughput Reactor Design is a three-year, $297K award.