Journal article

Sputtering of (001)AlN thin films: Control of polarity by a seed layer

The authors report on the ability to control the polarity of sputter deposited AlN001 thin films using seed layers. Reactive sputter deposition leads to N-polarity on any substrate hitherto applied, i.e., Si111, sapphire, SiO2, and polycrystalline metals such as Pt111, Mo110, and W110. A site-controlled polarity allows for an efficient excitation of shear modes of surface, bulk, and Lamb waves by interdigitated electrodes. The authors were able to introduce the Al polarity through a metal-organic chemical-vapor deposition seed layer. By subsequently patterning the substrate surface, it was possible to define the desired film polarity of sputter deposited AlN film. Polarities were determined by selective etching with KOH solutions and by piezoresponse force microscopy.


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