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Advanced methods for GLAD thin films Open Access


Other title
substrate cooling
microelectrical mechanical systems (MEMS)
substrate heating
thin films
glancing angle deposition (GLAD)
humidity sensing
reactive ion etching (RIE)
physical vapour deposition (PVD)
adatom mobility
titanium dioxide (TiO2)
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Kupsta, Martin
Supervisor and department
Dr. Jeremy Sit (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Andy Knight (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Dr. Anastasia Elias (Chemical and Material Engineering)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Thin films are produced from layers of materials ranging from nanometres to micrometres in height. They are increasingly common and are being used in integrated circuit design, optical coatings, protective coatings, and environmental sensing. Thin films can be fabricated using a variety of methods involving chemical reactions or physical transport of matter. Glancing angle deposition (GLAD) thin films are produced using physical vapour deposition techniques under high vacuum conditions where exploitation of the geometric conditions between the source and the substrate causes enhanced atomic self shadowing to produce structured thin films. This work deals with the modification of these films, \emph{in situ} by altering growing conditions through substrate temperatures control, or post-deposition through reactive ion etching (RIE). The first part of the thesis deals with the modification of TiO$_2$ GLAD humidity sensors using RIE with CF$_4$. The data presented demonstrates improved response times to step changes in humidity. Characterization revealed response times of better then 50~ms (instrument-limited measurement). An etch recipe for complete removal of TiO$_2$ was also demonstrated with shadow masking to transfer patterns into GLAD films. The subsequent chapter focuses on modification of thin film growth conditions by increasing adatom mobility. A radiative heating system was designed and implemented with the ability to achieve chuck temperatures of 400$^\circ$C. Capping layers on top of GLAD films were grown to demonstrate effects of \emph{in situ} heating, and a quantitative analysis of crack reduction with increased temperatures is presented. Lithographic pattern transfer onto a capped GLAD film was demonstrated. Opposite to the goal of the preceding chapter, the focus of the final experimental chapter was to limit adatom mobility. A LN$_2$-based cooling system was designed and implemented for the purpose of studying the growth by GLAD of lower melting point materials, which under regular growth conditions do not form well-defined structures. Chuck temperatures of $-60$$^\circ$C can be achieved during deposition while still allowing substrate rotation. The growth of helical copper films was used to demonstrate the effects of \emph{in situ} substrate cooling.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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