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ALD growth

 

Example: high-k dielectrics ALD growth of ZrO2 on SiO2

Surface coverage: 

The Zr peak increases with the number of cycles and the Si peak decreases. 
After 70 cycles there are pinholes (Si)

Thickness distribution: 

The width of the 
Zr peak (left part of red peak, see arrow) indicates islands of multiple atomic layers.

 

See also the application note on diffusion barriers.