Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Yung-Cheng Lee

Second Advisor

Markus Groner

Third Advisor

Steve George

Fourth Advisor

Ronggui Yang

Fifth Advisor

Kurt Maute


Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a bottom-up, gas phase, thin film deposition technique based on sequential, self-limiting binary surface reactions. The precise sub-nanometer film thickness control and conformal nature of this process have led to various commercial applications of ALD. However, ALD films are most commonly deposited in batch processes at low pressures, which raises throughput and/or cost concerns for many otherwise promising applications. This problem can be solved by spatial ALD (S-ALD) which is a version of the ALD technique where the precursors are separated in space rather than time. We have demonstrated the first atmospheric pressure roll-to-roll (R2R) ALD web coating system. A thickness uniformity of ±2% was achieved across the web. ALD cycle times as low as 76 ms were demonstrated with a web speed of 1 m/s and a vertical gap height of 0.5 mm. Extrinsic defects in the ALD films were investigated, and a predictive cluster model was proposed, and was demonstrated with a residual (i.e. difference between the actual defect counts and those predicted by the cluster model) of <10%. A R2R ALD web coating tool with molecular layer deposition (MLD) capabilities was investigated and achieved a defect density <10 /cm2. A hyperbaric corrosion chamber with in situ monitoring of film thickness was demonstrated with the ability to characterize R2R ALD films using water dissolution as a metric. ALD SiO2 films were determined to be dissolution-predictable with a predicted dissolution rate of ~3.7 nm/year at physiological temperatures. ALD TiO2 films were observed with no measurable dissolution in 150 °C water over the measurement period of 12 days.