Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X). This special issue belongs to the section "D:Materials and Processing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2024) | Viewed by 12686

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Departamento de Física, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Exactas e Ingenierías, Universidad de Guadalajara, Blvd. Marcelino García Barragán 1421, Guadalajara JAL 44430, Mexico
Interests: pulsed laser deposition; laser ablation; thin films

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Guest Editor
Departamento de Física, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Exactas e Ingenierías, Universidad de Guadalajara, Blvd. Marcelino García Barragán 1421, Guadalajara JAL 44430, Mexico
Interests: hard transparent thin films; pulsed laser deposition and surface nanostructuring with laser

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Development in thin film deposition technologies has allowed the accelerated increase in almost all areas of science and technology we see today. Thus, fundamental research and applications of thin films using a huge variety of deposition techniques is currently and is expected to remain an area of interest for the research community. The increasing demand for miniaturized devices and nanotechnology has motivated researchers to find new ways to synthesize or improve all kinds of thin film material systems using a great variety of physical and chemical thin film deposition techniques. This Special Issue is focused on publishing scientific research papers, and review articles that discuss fundamental thin film research, and more specifically:

  • Synthesis techniques: novel studies on thin film deposition techniques, such as advances in pulsed laser deposition, sputtering, chemical vapor deposition, and sol–gel, among others;
  • Characterization: study of physical and chemical properties of different types of thin film materials;
  • Applications: Experiments applying thin films in different fields of science;
  • Simulation and theoretical calculations: studies on theory or simulation around specific properties or applications of thin films.

Prof. Dr. José Guadalupe Quiñones-Galván
Dr. Laura Patricia Rivera Reséndiz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • thin films
  • deposition techniques
  • 2D materials
  • functional coatings
  • nanostructured thin films
  • nanocomposite coatings
  • chemical deposition techniques
  • physical vapor deposition

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

10 pages, 2203 KiB  
Article
Effects of Oxygen Pressure on the Microstructures and Nanomechanical Properties of Samarium-Doped BiFeO3 Thin Films
by Chih-Sheng Gao, Sheng-Rui Jian, Phuoc Huu Le, Wu-Ching Chou, Jenh-Yih Juang, Huang-Wei Chang and Chih-Ming Lin
Micromachines 2023, 14(10), 1879; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14101879 - 29 Sep 2023
Viewed by 753
Abstract
In this study, samarium (Sm-10at%)-doped BiFeO3 (SmBFO) thin films were grown on platinum-coated glass substrates using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) to unveil the correlation between the microstructures and nanomechanical properties of the films. The PLD-derived SmBFO thin films were prepared under various [...] Read more.
In this study, samarium (Sm-10at%)-doped BiFeO3 (SmBFO) thin films were grown on platinum-coated glass substrates using pulsed laser deposition (PLD) to unveil the correlation between the microstructures and nanomechanical properties of the films. The PLD-derived SmBFO thin films were prepared under various oxygen partial pressures (PO2) of 10, 30, and 50 mTorr at a substrate temperature of 600 °C. The scanning electron microscopy analyses revealed a surface morphology consisting of densely packed grains, although the size distribution varied with the PO2. X-ray diffraction results indicate that all SmBFO thin films are textured and preferentially oriented along the (110) crystallographic orientation. The crystallite sizes of the obtained SmBFO thin films calculated from the Scherrer and (Williamson–Hall) equations increased from 20 (33) nm to 25 (52) nm with increasing PO2. In addition, the nanomechanical properties (the hardness and Young’s modulus) of the SmBFO thin films were measured by using nanoindentation. The relationship between the hardness and crystalline size of SmBFO thin films appears to closely follow the Hall–Petch equation. In addition, the PO2 dependence of the film microstructure, the crystallite size, the hardness, and Young’s modulus of SmBFO thin films are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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16 pages, 10115 KiB  
Article
Growth of Nanocolumnar TiO2 Bilayer by Direct Current Reactive Magnetron Sputtering in Glancing-Angle Deposition Configuration for High-Quality Electron Transport Layer
by Perla Yanet Rosales Medina, Fernando Avelar Muñoz, Elida Flores Sigala, Roberto Gómez Rosales, Javier Alejandro Berumen Torres, José de Jesús Araiza Ibarra, Hugo Tototzintle Huitle, Víctor Hugo Méndez García and José Juan Ortega Sigala
Micromachines 2023, 14(8), 1483; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14081483 - 25 Jul 2023
Viewed by 946
Abstract
The electron transport layer (ETL) plays a crucial role in solar cell technology, particularly in perovskite solar cells (PSCs), where nanostructured TiO2 films have been investigated as superior ETLs compared to compact TiO2. In this study, we explored the nanocolumnar [...] Read more.
The electron transport layer (ETL) plays a crucial role in solar cell technology, particularly in perovskite solar cells (PSCs), where nanostructured TiO2 films have been investigated as superior ETLs compared to compact TiO2. In this study, we explored the nanocolumnar growth of TiO2 in the anatase phase for bilayer thin films by DC reactive magnetron sputtering (MS) technique and glancing-angle deposition (GLAD). For the growth of the compact TiO2 layer, it was found that the crystalline quality of the films is strongly dependent on the sputtering power, and the samples deposited at 120 and 140 W are those with the best crystalline quality. However, for the nanocolumnar layer, the reactive atmosphere composition determined the best crystalline properties. By optimizing the growth parameters, the formation of TiO2 nanocolumns with a cross-sectional diameter ranging from 50 to 75 nm was achieved. The average thickness of the films exceeded 12.71 ± 0.5 µm. All nanostructured films were grown at a constant GLAD angle of 70°, and after deposition, the measured inclination angle of the nanocolumns is very close to this, having values between 68 and 80°. Furthermore, a correlation was observed between the quality of the initial layer and the enhanced growth of the TiO2 nanocolumns. All bilayer films are highly transparent, allowing light to pass through up to 90%, and present a band gap with values between 3.7 and 3.8 eV. This article offers the experimental parameters for the fabrication of a nanocolumnar TiO2 using the magnetron sputtering technique and the glancing-angle deposition configuration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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16 pages, 4874 KiB  
Article
Mask-Assisted Deposition of Ti on Cyclic Olefin Copolymer Foil by Pulsed Laser Deposition
by Mariapompea Cutroneo, Letteria Silipigni, Anna Mackova, Petr Malinsky, Romana Miksova, Vaclav Holy, Jan Maly, Marcel Stofik, Petr Aubrecht, Dominik Fajstavr, Petr Slepicka and Lorenzo Torrisi
Micromachines 2023, 14(7), 1298; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14071298 - 24 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 921
Abstract
Cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) is a novel type of thermoplastic polymer gaining the attention of the scientific community in electronic, optoelectronic, biomedicine and packaging applications. Despite the benefits in the use of COC such as undoubted optical transparency, chemical stability, a good water–vapor [...] Read more.
Cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) is a novel type of thermoplastic polymer gaining the attention of the scientific community in electronic, optoelectronic, biomedicine and packaging applications. Despite the benefits in the use of COC such as undoubted optical transparency, chemical stability, a good water–vapor barrier and biocompatibility, its original hydrophobicity restricts its wider applicability and optimization of its performances. Presently, we report on the optical and morphological properties of the films of COC covered with Ti in selected areas. The layer of Ti on COC was deposited by pulsed lased deposition processing. The Ti/COC film was characterized by UV–Vis spectroscopy indicating that its transmittance in the visible region decreased by about 20% with respect to the pristine polymer. The quality of the deposited Ti was assessed with the morphology by scanning electron (SEM) and atomic force microscopies (AFM). The modification of the wettability was observed by the sessile drop method indicating a reduction of the native hydrophilicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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8 pages, 1358 KiB  
Communication
Direct Synthesis of Mn3[Fe(CN)6]2·nH2O Nanosheets as Novel 2D Analog of Prussian Blue and Material for High-Performance Metal-Ion Batteries
by Artem A. Lobinsky, Maria V. Kaneva, Maxim I. Tenevich and Vadim I. Popkov
Micromachines 2023, 14(5), 1083; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14051083 - 21 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1309
Abstract
Rechargeable metal-ion batteries (RMIBs) are prospective highly effective and low-cost devices for energy storage. Prussian blue analogues (PBAs) have become a subject of significant interest for commercial applications owing to their exceptional specific capacity and broad operational potential window as cathode materials for [...] Read more.
Rechargeable metal-ion batteries (RMIBs) are prospective highly effective and low-cost devices for energy storage. Prussian blue analogues (PBAs) have become a subject of significant interest for commercial applications owing to their exceptional specific capacity and broad operational potential window as cathode materials for rechargeable metal-ion batteries. However, the limiting factors for its widespread use are its poor electrical conductivity and stability. The present study describes the direct and simple synthesis of 2D nanosheets of MnFCN (Mn3[Fe(CN)6]2·nH2O) on nickel foam (NF) via a successive ionic layer deposition (SILD) method, which provided more ion diffusion and electrochemical conductivity. MnFCN/NF exhibited exceptional cathode performance for RMIBs, delivering a high specific capacity of 1032 F/g at 1 A/g in an aqueous 1M NaOH electrolyte. Additionally, the specific capacitance reached the remarkable levels of 327.5 F/g at 1 A/g and 230 F/g at 0.1 A/g in 1M Na2SO4 and 1M ZnSO4 aqueous solutions, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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9 pages, 1995 KiB  
Article
Effective Chemical Lift-Off for Air-Tunnel GaN on a Trapezoid-Patterned Sapphire Substrate
by Min-joo Ahn, Kyu-yeon Shim, Woo-seop Jeong, Seongho Kang, Hwayoung Kim, Seunghee Cho and Dongjin Byun
Micromachines 2023, 14(4), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14040753 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1174
Abstract
We fabricated an air-tunnel structure between a gallium nitride (GaN) layer and trapezoid-patterned sapphire substrate (TPSS) through the in situ carbonization of a photoresist layer to enable rapid chemical lift-off (CLO). A trapezoid-shaped PSS was used, which is advantageous for epitaxial growth on [...] Read more.
We fabricated an air-tunnel structure between a gallium nitride (GaN) layer and trapezoid-patterned sapphire substrate (TPSS) through the in situ carbonization of a photoresist layer to enable rapid chemical lift-off (CLO). A trapezoid-shaped PSS was used, which is advantageous for epitaxial growth on the upper c-plane when forming an air tunnel between the substrate and GaN layer. The upper c-plane of the TPSS was exposed during carbonization. This was followed by selective GaN epitaxial lateral overgrowth using a homemade metal organic chemical vapor deposition system. The air tunnel maintained its structure under the GaN layer, whereas the photoresist layer between the GaN layer and TPSS disappeared. The crystalline structures of GaN (0002) and (0004) were investigated using X-ray diffraction. The photoluminescence spectra of the GaN templates with and without the air tunnel showed an intense peak at 364 nm. The Raman spectroscopy results for the GaN templates with and without the air tunnel were redshifted relative to the results for free-standing GaN. The CLO process using potassium hydroxide solution neatly separated the GaN template with the air tunnel from the TPSS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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10 pages, 3199 KiB  
Article
Bi2Te3 Thin Films Deposited by the Combination of Bi and Te Plasmas in a PLD Process
by Laura A. Reyes-Verdugo, C. D. Gutiérrez-Lazos, J. Santos-Cruz, A. Chávez-Chávez and J. G. Quiñones-Galván
Micromachines 2023, 14(3), 590; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14030590 - 28 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1756
Abstract
Bismuth telluride thin films were grown by pulsed laser deposition by implementing a novel method that combines both Te and Bi plasmas resulting from the laser ablation of individual Bi and Te targets. Furthermore, the mean kinetic ion energy and density of the [...] Read more.
Bismuth telluride thin films were grown by pulsed laser deposition by implementing a novel method that combines both Te and Bi plasmas resulting from the laser ablation of individual Bi and Te targets. Furthermore, the mean kinetic ion energy and density of the plasmas, as estimated by TOF curves obtained from Langmuir probe measurements, were used as control parameters for the deposition process. The obtained thin films exhibit a metallic mirror-like appearance and present good adhesion to the substrate. Morphology of the thin films was observed by SEM, yielding smooth surfaces where particulates were also observed (splashing). Chemical composition analysis obtained by EDS showed that apparently the films have a Te-rich composition (ratio of Te/Bi of 3); however, Te excess arises from the splashing as revealed by the structural characterization (XRD and Raman spectroscopy). The XRD pattern indicated that depositions have the rhombohedral (D3d5 (R3¯m)) structure of Bi2Te3. Likewise, Raman spectra exhibited the presence of signals that correspond to Eg2, A1u2 and A1g2(LO) vibrational modes of the same rhombohedral phase of Bi2Te3. Additionally, oxidation states, analyzed by XPS, resulted in signals associated to Bi3+ and Te2- that correspond to the Bi2Te3 compound. Finally, surface topology and thickness profiles were obtained from AFM measurements, confirming a combination of a smooth surface with particulates on top of it and a film thickness of 400 nm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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10 pages, 3150 KiB  
Article
Comparative Study on Microstructure of Mo/Si Multilayers Deposited on Large Curved Mirror with and without the Shadow Mask
by Xiangyue Liu, Zhe Zhang, Hongxuan Song, Qiushi Huang, Tonglin Huo, Hongjun Zhou, Runze Qi, Zhong Zhang and Zhanshan Wang
Micromachines 2023, 14(3), 526; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14030526 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1216
Abstract
The Mo/Si multilayer mirror has been widely used in EUV astronomy, lithography, microscopy and other fields because of its high reflectivity at the wavelength around 13.5 nm. During the fabrication of Mo/Si multilayers on large, curved mirrors, shadow mask was a common method [...] Read more.
The Mo/Si multilayer mirror has been widely used in EUV astronomy, lithography, microscopy and other fields because of its high reflectivity at the wavelength around 13.5 nm. During the fabrication of Mo/Si multilayers on large, curved mirrors, shadow mask was a common method to precisely control the period thickness distribution. To investigate the effect of shadow mask on the microstructure of Mo/Si multilayers, we deposited a set of Mo/Si multilayers with and without the shadow mask on a curved substrate with aperture of 200 mm by direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering in this work. Grazing incidence X-ray reflectivity (GIXR), diffuse scattering, atomic force microscope (AFM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were used to characterize the multilayer structure and the EUV reflectivity were measured at the National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) in China. By comparing the results, we found that the layer microstructure including interface width, surface roughness, layer crystallization and the reflectivity were barely affected by the mask and a high accuracy of the layer thickness gradient can be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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13 pages, 2652 KiB  
Article
Overview of Polyethylene Terephthalate Foils Patterned Using 10 MeV Carbon Ions for Realization of Micromembranes
by Mariapompea Cutroneo, Vladimir Havranek, Anna Mackova, Petr Malinsky, Romana Miksova, Giovanni Ceccio, Lucio Ando’ and Alena Michalcova
Micromachines 2023, 14(2), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi14020284 - 22 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1196
Abstract
Polymer membranes are conventionally prepared using high-energy particles from radioactive decay or by the bombardment of hundreds of MeVs energy ions. In both circumstances, tracks of damage are produced by particles/ions passing through the polymer, and successively, the damaged material is removed by [...] Read more.
Polymer membranes are conventionally prepared using high-energy particles from radioactive decay or by the bombardment of hundreds of MeVs energy ions. In both circumstances, tracks of damage are produced by particles/ions passing through the polymer, and successively, the damaged material is removed by chemical etching to create narrow pores. This process ensures nanosized pore diameter but with random placement, leading to non-uniform local pore density and low membrane porosity, which is necessary to reduce the risk of their overlapping. The present study is focused on the use of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) foils irradiated by 10.0 MeV carbon ions, easily achievable with ordinary ion accelerators. The ion irradiation conditions and the chemical etching conditions were monitored to obtain customized pore locations without pore overlapping in PET. The quality, shape, and size of the pores generated in the micromembranes can have a large impact on their applicability. In this view, the Scanning Transmission Ion Microscopy coupled with a computer code created in our laboratory was implemented to acquire new visual and quantitative insights on fabricated membranes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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12 pages, 1377 KiB  
Article
The Microstructures and Characteristics of NiO Films: Effects of Substrate Temperature
by Guo-Ju Chen, Chih-Ming Lin, Yung-Hui Shih and Sheng-Rui Jian
Micromachines 2022, 13(11), 1940; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi13111940 - 10 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1294
Abstract
The influence of the substrate temperature on the structural, surface morphological, optical and nanomechanical properties of NiO films deposited on glass substrates using radio-frequency magnetron sputtering was examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-Visible spectroscopy and nanoindentation, respectively. The results [...] Read more.
The influence of the substrate temperature on the structural, surface morphological, optical and nanomechanical properties of NiO films deposited on glass substrates using radio-frequency magnetron sputtering was examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-Visible spectroscopy and nanoindentation, respectively. The results indicate that the substrate temperature exhibits significant influences on both the grain texturing orientation and surface morphology of the films. Namely, the dominant crystallographic orientation of the films switches from (111) to (200) accompanied by progressively roughening of the surface when the substrate temperature is increased from 300 °C to 500 °C. The average transmittance of the NiO films was also found to vary in the range of 60–85% in the visible wavelength region, depending on the substrate temperature and wavelength. In addition, the optical band gap calculated from the Tauc plot showed an increasing trend from 3.18 eV to 3.56 eV with increasing substrate temperature. Both the hardness and Young’s modulus of NiO films were obtained by means of the nanoindentation continuous contact stiffness measurements mode. Moreover, the contact angle between the water droplet and film surface also indicated an intimate correlation between the surface energy, hence the wettability, of the film and substrate temperature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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Review

Jump to: Research

25 pages, 6052 KiB  
Review
A Review on Material Selection Benchmarking in GeTe-Based RF Phase-Change Switches for Each Layer
by Sheng Qu, Libin Gao, Jiamei Wang, Hongwei Chen and Jihua Zhang
Micromachines 2024, 15(3), 380; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi15030380 - 13 Mar 2024
Viewed by 654
Abstract
The global demand for radio frequency (RF) modules and components has grown exponentially in recent decades. RF switches are the essential unit in RF front-end and reconfigurable systems leading to the rapid development of novel and advanced switch technology. Germanium telluride (GeTe), as [...] Read more.
The global demand for radio frequency (RF) modules and components has grown exponentially in recent decades. RF switches are the essential unit in RF front-end and reconfigurable systems leading to the rapid development of novel and advanced switch technology. Germanium telluride (GeTe), as one of the Chalcogenide phase-change materials, has been applied as an RF switch due to its low insertion loss, high isolation, fast switching speed, and low power consumption in recent years. In this review, an in-depth exploration of GeTe film characterization is presented, followed by a comparison of the device structure of directly heated and indirectly heated RF phase-change switches (RFPCSs). Focusing on the prototypical structure of indirectly heated RFPCSs as the reference, the intrinsic properties of each material layer and the rationale behind the material selection is analyzed. Furthermore, the design size of each material layer of the device and its subsequent RF performance are summarized. Finally, we cast our gaze toward the promising future prospects of RFPCS technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thin Film Deposition: From Fundamental Research to Applications)
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