Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemistry & Biochemistry

First Advisor

Steven M. George

Second Advisor

Cortlandt G. Pierpont

Third Advisor

Niels H. Damrauer

Fourth Advisor

Gordana Dukovic

Fifth Advisor

Rishi, Raj


Atomic layer deposition (ALD) and molecular layer deposition (MLD) are advanced thin film coating techniques developed for deposition of inorganic and hybrid organic-inorganic films respectively. Decreasing device dimensions and increasing aspect ratios in semiconductor processing has motivated developments in ALD. The beginning of this thesis will cover study of new ALD chemistry for high dielectric constant Y2O3. In addition, the feasibility of conducting low temperature ALD of TiN and TiAlN is explored using highly reactive hydrazine as a new nitrogen source. Developments of these ALD processes are important for the electronics industry. As the search for new materials with more advanced properties continues, attention has shifted toward exploring the synthesis of hierarchically nanostructured thin films. Such complex architectures can provide novel functions important to the development of state of the art devices for the electronics industry, catalysis, energy conversion and memory storage as a few examples. Therefore, the main focus of this thesis is on the growth, characterization, and post-processing of ALD and MLD films for fabrication of novel composite (nanostructured) thin films. Novel composite materials are created by annealing amorphous ALD oxide alloys in air and by heat treatment of hybrid organic-inorganic MLD films in inert atmosphere (pyrolysis). The synthesis of porous TiO2 or Al2O3 supported V2O5 for enhanced surface area catalysis was achieved by the annealing of inorganic TiVxOy and AlVxOy ALD films in air. The interplay between phase separation, surface energy difference, crystallization, and melting temperature of individual oxides were studied for their control of film morphology. In other work, a class of novel metal oxide-graphitic carbon composite thin films was produced by pyrolysis of MLD hybrid organic-inorganic films. For example, annealing in argon of titania based hybrid films enabled fabrication of thin films of intimately mixed TiO2 and nanographitized carbon. The graphitized carbon in the film was formed as a result of the removal of hydrogen by pyrolysis of the organic constituency of the MLD film. The presence of graphitic carbon allowed a 14 orders of magnitude increase in the electrical conductivity of the composite material compared fully oxidized rutile TiO2.