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Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet-Assisted Synthesis of Zeolite-Based Low-k Thin Films

Huang, Kai-Yu, Chi, Heng-Yu, Kao, Peng-Kai, Huang, Fei-Hung, Jian, Qi-Ming, Cheng, I-Chun, Lee, Wen-Ya, Hsu, Cheng-Che, Kang, Dun-Yen
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2018 v.10 no.1 pp. 900-908
atmospheric pressure, crystal structure, crystals, dielectric properties, modulus of elasticity, nitrogen, wet deposition, zeolites
Zeolites are ideal low-dielectric constant (low-k) materials. This paper reports on a novel plasma-assisted approach to the synthesis of low-k thin films comprising pure-silica zeolite MFI. The proposed method involves treating the aged solution using an atmospheric pressure plasma jet (APPJ). The high reactivity of the resulting nitrogen plasma helps to produce zeolite crystals with high crystallinity and uniform crystal size distribution. The APPJ treatment also remarkably reduces the time for hydrothermal reaction. The zeolite MFI suspensions synthesized with the APPJ treatment are used for the wet deposition to form thin films. The deposited zeolite thin films possessed dense morphology and high crystallinity, which overcome the trade-off between crystallinity and film quality. Zeolite thin films synthesized using the proposed APPJ treatment achieve low leakage current (on the order of 10–⁸ A/cm²) and high Young’s modulus (12 GPa), outperforming the control sample synthesized without plasma treatment. The dielectric constant of our zeolite thin films was as low as 1.41. The overall performance of the low-k thin films synthesized with the APPJ treatment far exceed existing low-k films comprising pure-silica MFI.