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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 May;5(9):3704-15. doi: 10.1021/am400310p. Epub 2013 Apr 16.

Density functional theory predictions of the composition of atomic layer deposition-grown ternary oxides.

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Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Dyke Parade, Cork, Ireland.


The surface reactivity of various metal precursors with different alkoxide, amide, and alkyl ligands during the atomic layer deposition (ALD) of ternary oxides was determined using simplified theoretical models. Quantum chemical estimations of the Brønsted reactivity of a metal complex precursor at a hydroxylated surface are made using a gas-phase hydrolysis model. The geometry optimized structures and energies for a large suite of 17 metal precursors (including cations of Mg, Ca, Sr, Sc, Y, La, Ti, Zr, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Al, and Ga) with five different anionic ligands (conjugate bases of tert-butanol, tetramethyl heptanedione, dimethyl amine, isopropyl amidine, and methane) and the corresponding hydrolyzed complexes are calculated using density functional theory (DFT) methods. The theoretically computed energies are used to determine the energetics of the model reactions. These DFT models of hydrolysis are used to successfully explain the reactivity and resulting stoichiometry in terms of metal cation ratios seen experimentally for a variety of ALD-grown ternary oxide systems.

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