Evaluation of homoleptic guanidinate and amidinate complexes of gadolinium and dysprosium for MOCVD of rare-earth nitride thin films

Tobias B. Thiede, Michael Krasnopolski, Andrian P. Milanov, Teresa De Los Arcos, Andreas Ney, Hans Werner Becker, Detlef Rogalla, Joärg Winter, Anjana Devi, Roland A. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) of thin films of two representative rare-earth nitrides is reported here for the first time. Four homoleptic, all-nitrogen-coordinated, rare-earth (RE) complexes were evaluated as precursors for the respective nitride thin film materials. Two guanidinato complexes [RE{(iPrN)2C(NMe2)}3] [RE = Gd (1), Dy (2)] and two amidinato complexes [RE{(iPrN) 2CMe}3] [RE = Gd (3), Dy (4)] were compared and used either as single source precursors or together with ammonia for MOCVD of gadolinium nitride (GdN) and dysprosium nitride (DyN), respectively. The thermal properties of the precursors were studied and the fragmentation patterns were characterized by high-resolution electron impact-mass spectrometry (HR EI-MS). The obtained nitride films were investigated using a series of techniques, including X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), nuclear reaction analysis (NRA), Rutherford backscattering (RBS), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The films contain preferentially oriented grains of fcc-GdN and DyN and are contaminated with small amounts of carbon and oxygen (significantly below 10 at.-% in the best cases). The temperature-dependent magnetic properties of the films, as measured using a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID), suggest the existence of small ferromagnetic grains of the rare-earth nitrides that exhibit superparamagnetism. Despite the chemical and structural similarity of the guanidinato and amidinato complexes (1-4), a distinctly different behavior as MOCVD precursors was found for 1 and 2, compared with that for 3 and 4. While the guanidinates operate well as single-source precursors (SSPs), the amidinates are not suited at all as SSPs, but give very good nitride films when used in the presence of ammonia. This characteristic behavior was correlated with the different fragmentation mechanisms, as revealed by EI-MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1430-1440
Number of pages11
JournalChemistry of Materials
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • chemical vapor deposition
  • magnetic materials

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