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Focussed ion beam etching of the interfacial region of lead zirconate titanate thin film after laser-release from sapphire fabrication substrate

T. Chakraborty, B. Xu, J. Harrington, S. Chakraborty, Q. Zhang, R.E. Miles and S.J. Milne
University of Leeds, UK

focussed ion beam etching, ferroelectric thin-film, laser transfer

Although many lead zirconate titanate (PZT) based MEMS have been demonstrated, the thermal incompatibility problems associated with in-situ fabrication of PZT films on the device substrate remain a major challenge. Process temperatures of 600 –700 ºC are common for PZT on silicon, however these temperatures can degrade silicon microelectronics and metal interconnects. By preparing the film on a separate fabrication substrate, such as sapphire, and then using a pulsed UV laser to aid its transfer to the device substrate the problems of thermal incompatibility are avoided [1]. It has been shown that the piezoelectric properties of laser-released PZT films may be improved by conventional ion milling to remove a ( ~ 100 nm) layer originally generated due to the excimer laser exposure [2]. In order to gain a better understanding of the structure of this interfacial layer we are engaged in a project utilising dual-beam focussed- ion- beam etching ( Nova 200 Nanolab, FEI UK Ltd) to study the structure of the laser-damaged region. Results on nano-depth profiling using the SEM-FIB technique will be presented and correlated to laser-lift-off conditions. The merits of SEM-FIB for ferroelectric films will be discussed.
1. L Tsakalakos, T Sands, E Carleton, K M Yu, J Appl. Phys. 94, (2003) 4047-52
2. B Xu, et al. (to be published Proceedings of 107th American Ceramic Society Annual Meeting)

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