Deposition and properties of yttria-stabilized zirconia thin films using reactive direct current magnetron sputtering

E. S. Thiele, L. S. Wang, Thomas O Mason, S. A. Barnett

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Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) thin films were deposited by reactive magnetron sputter deposition from a composite Zr-Y target in Ar-O2 mixtures. Hysteresis was observed as a function of oxygen flow rate f. For a discharge current of 0.4 A and a total pressure P of 5 mTorr, for example, the target oxidized at f > 2.3 ml/min, with the reverse transition from an oxidized to a metallic target surface occurring at 1.95 ml/min. The deposition rate was 2.7 um/h in the metallicmodeandO.l,um/h in the oxide mode. Fully oxidized (Y2O3)0.1 (ZrO2)0.9 was obtained for f > 2.0 ml/min, even in the metallic mode. While films deposited with P = 3−20 mTorr were continuous, for P > 20 mTorr crazing was apparent as expected for a ceramic film in a tensile stress state. For P <3 mTorr, the films delaminated due to excessive compressive stress. X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy results showed that the films were polycrystalline cubic YSZ with a columnar structure and an average grain diameter of 15 nm. Fully dense films were obtained at a deposition temperature of 350°C. Temperature-dependent impedance spectroscopy analysis ofYSZ films with Ag electrodes showed that the oxygen ion conductivity was as expected for YSZ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3054-3060
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1991


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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