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Publication Date: 2011-Jun-10

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The Prior Art Database

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            Disclosed are methods to deposit lanthanide containing films.  The films may be deposited by a CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) process or an ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) process, with or without a plasma source, or any other deposition technique.  The disclosed methods use at least one lanthanide precursor and at least one oxygen source different from O2, O3, H2O or H2O2.  The oxygen source has the general formula RCOOH, with R being is selected from H, branched or cyclic alkyl or perfluoroalkyl groups that contains between 1 and 20 carbon.  The preferred oxygen sources are formic acid, acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid, acrylic acid, or a combination thereof.  The lanthanide precursor may be Ln(RxCp)3, Ln(R1xNC(H)NR2x)3 (Ln(Formidinate)3, Ln(R1xNC(R2x)NR3X)3 Ln(amidinate)3  Ln(R1xR1yR1zCp)(R2xNC(R2x)NR3X)2, Ln(R1xR1yR1zCp)2(R2xNC(R2x)NR3X), Ln(R1xR1yR1zCp)(R2xNC(H)NR2x)2, Ln(R1xR1yR1zCp)2(R2xNC(H)NR2x) or Ln(R1xR1yR1zCp)( R2xR2yR2zCp)( R3xR3yR3zCp), or Ln(Cyclohexadienyl)3 (the cyclohexadienyl being potentially substituted), with Rx, R1x, R1y, R1z, R2x, R2y, R2z, R3x, R3y and R3z being independently selected from, but not limited to, hydrogen or an aliphatic group (preferably an aliphatic moiety) having 1 to 10 carbon atoms; Ln is selected from Lanthanides and Cp being a cyclopentadienyl group.  The lanthanide precursor may be selected from Table 2.  The lanthanide containing films may be doped with other elements in order to tune their functionality.  Potential elements may be, but are not limited to, nitrogen and carbon or any metals.  The film deposition may be performed at a temperature ranging between 0°C and 600°C and at a pressure between 0.001 Torr and 1000 Torr.  A catalyst material may be added to enhance the lanthanide containing film deposition.  The catalyst material may be selected from but not limited to ammonia, pyridine or pyrazole.

Disclosed herein are non-limiting embodiments of methods, apparatus and compounds which may be used in the manufacture of semiconductor, photovoltaic, LCD-TFT, or flat panel type devices.


For years, semiconductor industry used the same oxidizing agents.  The most common ones are O2, O3, H2O or H2O2 however they all have drawbacks.  Nowadays, the reduction of devices dimensions has led to an increase of defects and those defects are becoming unacceptable for the device reliability and performance.  Some of those defects are caused by the oxidizing source itself.

Defects are also becoming more and more important as new materials, like lanthanide containing-films, are introduced.  Such materials allow dielectric constant greater than conventional dielectrics (silicon oxides and nitrides).  However, implementation of most of these materials into the manufacturing process has shown numerous problems.  Some of the more critical issues are interface stability, morphology stabil...