In situ characterisation of ALD at a synchrotron

The CoCooN research group has pioneered the use of synchrotron-based x-ray techniques for in situ characterization during ALD. By shining x-rays into an ALD reactor, a variety of x-ray based techniques that have been developed to study surfaces and films can be used to study ALD growth (see review paper by Devloo-Casier et al., J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 32, 010801, 2014). For example, we demonstrated the unique suitability of in situ x-ray fluorescence (XRF) and grazing incidence small angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS) for monitoring, respectively, the amount of deposited material and the evolution in surface roughness during ALD.

Schematic view of an ALD chamber allowing for in situ x-ray-based process characterization.

A dedicated ALD system was built for in situ x-ray studies at synchrotron beamlines. This system allows for thermal and plasma-enhanced ALD in combination with several x-ray based characterization techniques, such as x-ray reflectivity, x-ray absorption spectroscopy, XRF and GISAXS. 


Mobile ALD setup for synchrotron based in situ experiments.

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