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Annealing to Fill Cracks in Thin Films

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000078581D
Original Publication Date: 1973-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-26
Document File: 2 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chaudhari, P: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

In the growth of a single-crystal film onto a substrate or in the conversion of an amorphous film into a crystalline one, cracks may develop which extend throughout the thickness of the deposited film, as seen in Fig. 1. Since these cracks markedly interfere with the electrical, magnetic or other critical characteristics of the film, it is necessary to either fill the cracks or discard the film.

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Annealing to Fill Cracks in Thin Films

In the growth of a single-crystal film onto a substrate or in the conversion of an amorphous film into a crystalline one, cracks may develop which extend throughout the thickness of the deposited film, as seen in Fig. 1. Since these cracks markedly interfere with the electrical, magnetic or other critical characteristics of the film, it is necessary to either fill the cracks or discard the film.

In those particular cases where the deposited film wets the substrate, the deposited film is annealed for many hours at elevated temperatures so that surface diffusion occurs. This surface diffusion causes the cracks to fill from the substrate toward the top of the film, as seen in Fig. 2. Further extensive annealing can close the crack, as seen in Fig. 3. The closing process can be expedited by sputter etching or burnishing, so as to smoothen the top surface of the deposited film.

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