Theoretical modelling of thin film growth in the B-N system

Björn Mårlid
Abstract & Cover

In vapour phase deposition, the knowledge and control of homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions in connection to precursor design may lead to the deposition of the desired material; structure or phase. This thesis is a document attempting to increase the knowledge of film growth in the B-N system. In the present work, surface processes like adsorption, abstraction, migration and nucleation have been modelled on an atomic scale using density functional theory (DFT). The systems studied are mainly cubic and hexagonal boron nitride surfaces ((c-BN) vs. (h-BN)), but also the α-boron (001) surface. It has been shown that DFT and a cluster approach is a reliable tool in modelling boron nitride surfaces and surface processes, provided that certain functionals, basis sets and geometrical constraints are used. By using surface stabilisers such as H species in an electron- or radical-rich environment, it has been shown that i) the structure of cubic boron nitride surfaces can be sustained, and ii) c-BN may nucleate on the h-BN (001) basal plane. Furthermore, the nucleation of c-BN from arbitrary and experimental growth species is energetically preferable over a continuous growth of h-BN on the h-BN (001) edges. An atomic layer deposition (ALD) process for boron nitride was developed. It resulted in turbostratic (t-BN), transparent, well-adherent and almost atomically smooth BN films. However, with the cubic phase of boron nitride absent in the ALD films, more effort needs to be put into both the theoretical and the experimental branches of this field of science.

Source of Information
Mats Boman
Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Chemistry, Department of Materials Chemistry.
(Uppsala, Sweden)
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