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Investigation of defects in thin silicon oxynitride film by Cu electroplating for organic device encapsulation
Keywords: OLEDs, Electroplating, Encapsulation
Organic devices such as organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) or organic solar cells degrade fast when exposed to ambient air. To this end, many studies have been made on a thin-film encapsulation (TFE). However, TFE films formed by a vacuum deposition process can have defects that provide a pathway for water vapor and oxygen through the substrate, because deposition techniques are not perfect. The need to characterize defects in TFE film has become increasingly important to improve encapsulation performance. In this study, thin SiON was grown by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposited (PECVD) method as a TFE layer. For defect visualization, electroplating results in a Cu bump grown at each defect site in the SiON film where electrolytic solution establishes contact with the Ni substrate. It was inferred that the Cu bump density could be representative of the intrinsic defect densities for the SiON film. The defect density values were obtained by monitoring the Cu bumps grown at defect sites in the SiON films and then evaluating the number of densities of the Cu bumps for the corresponding defect densities. The defect density for 50 nm SiON film was 122/cm2. At the same time, by analyzing the cross section of the Cu bumps grown on SiON film, a linear relation between the Cu bump diameter and the defect size increase was obtained. In addition, FIB-SEM and XPS were carried out to verify that SiON film is stable in the H2SO4/CuSO4 electroplating solvent during the exposure time (3 min). No noticeable change was detected in either the thickness or the chemical composition of SiON film. We expect that this electroplating method allows for rapid visualization of defect distribution and quality evaluation of TFE layers.
Kunmo Chu, Research Staff Member
Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do
South Korea


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