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Factors that Affect the Performance of Sputter-deposited Thin Film Capacitors on LTCC Substrates
Keywords: Thin Film Capacitors, LTCC Substrates, Sputter-Deposited
In this series of experimental studies the structure-property relationships of thin film capacitors sputter-deposited onto Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC) substrates were investigated. The planar capacitor configuration was a metal-insulator-metal (MIM) design with patterning accomplished using a shadow mask and 200-500nm thick metal electrodes, 500-1000nm thick dielectric, and an area that varied between 0.1 to 2.0 mm2. Metallic electrodes evaluated included Al, Ag, Au, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pt, and Ti, including bimetallic and asymmetric structure configurations. The deposited dielectrics investigated were Al¬2O3 and BaTiO3, and the LTCC substrates used were DuPont 951 and DuPont 9k7. Measured electrical properties included impedance analysis (and calculated permittivity), device yield, and I-V behavior. Several factors were found to strongly influence the device yield and capacitor performance, including electrode composition, capacitor area, and substrate roughness. Amongst the electrodes explored, results show a marked improvement in device performance when Al is in direct contact with the dielectric on LTCC substrates. Coupled with the observed nonlinear I-V behavior, it appears the work function of the metal and its impact on the formation of accumulation/depletion layers within the dielectric is the factor that significantly controls capacitor performance.
James Claypool,
Missouri S&T
Kansas City, MO

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