Atomic-Layer-Deposited Aluminum Oxide Thin Films Probed with X-ray Scattering and Compared to Molecular Dynamics and Density Functional Theory Models

A Pugliese and B Shyam and GM Repa and AH Nguyen and A Mehta and EBW Iii and LA Fredin and NC Strandwitz, ACS OMEGA, 7, 41033-41043 (2022).

DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.2c04402

A better understanding of amorphous aluminum oxide's structure and electronic properties is obtained through combined experimental and computational approaches. Grazing incidence X-ray scattering measurements were carried out on aluminum oxide thin films grown using thermal atomic layer deposition. The corresponding pair distribution functions (PDFs) showed structures similar to previously reported PDFs of solid-state amorphous alumina and molten alumina. Structural models based on crystalline alumina polymorphs (PDFgui) and amorphous alumina (molecular dynamics, MD) were examined for structural comparisons to the experimental PDF data. Smaller MD models were optimized and verified against larger models to allow for quantum chemical electronic structure calculations. The electronic structure of the amorphous alumina models yields additional insight into the band structure and electronic defects present in amorphous alumina that are not present in crystalline samples.

Return to Publications page