Electrochimica Acta, Vol.55, No.9, 3144-3151, 2010
Amorphous-to-crystalline transition of silicon-incorporated anodic ZrO2 and improved dielectric properties
Sputter-deposited zirconium and Zr-16 at.% Si alloy have been anodized to various voltages at several formation voltages in 0.1 mol dm(-3) ammonium pentaborate electrolyte at 298 K for 900 s. The resultant anodic films have been characterized using X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy, glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The anodic oxide films formed on Zr-16 at.% Si are amorphous up to 30 V, but the outer part of the anodic oxide films crystallizes at higher formation voltages. This is in contrast to the case of sputter-deposited zirconium, on which the crystalline anodic oxide films, composed mainly of monoclinic ZrO2, are developed even at low formation voltages. The outer crystalline layer on the Zr-16 at.% Si consists of a high-temperature stable tetragonal phase of ZrO2. Due to immobile nature of silicon species, silicon-free outermost layer is formed by simultaneous migrations of Zr4+ ions outwards and O2- ions inwards. An intermediate crystalline oxide layer, in which silicon content is lower in comparison with that in the innermost layer, is developed at the boundary of the crystalline layer and amorphous layer. Capacitances of the anodic zirconium oxide are highly enhanced by incorporation of silicon due to reduced film thickness, even though the permittivity of anodic oxide decreases with silicon incorporation. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.