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Comparison of the influence of titanium and chromium adhesion layers on the properties of sol–gel derived NKN thin films

Abstract

Lead-free (Na0.5K0.5)NbO3 (NKN) thin films were prepared on Pt/X/SiO2/Si substrates (with the adhesion promoters X = Ti, Cr) by a sol–gel process with and without post-annealing treatment. The effect of the diffusion of the adhesion layer elements Ti and Cr into the NKN film was analysed by secondary ion mass spectrometry, scanning electron microscopy pictures, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and leakage current measurements. It turned out that Cr diffuses into the films to a higher extent than Ti. The high amount of Cr diffusion led to the formation of a secondary phase, as seen in the XRD pattern, and to pore formation on the surface of the NKN films. In contrast, the films with Ti adhesion layer were single phase NKN without pore formation. Also, the leakage current measurements showed a strong influence of the Cr diffusion. The leakage current of the films with Cr adhesion layer was about four orders of magnitude higher than that of the films with Ti adhesion layer. The study shows the strong influence of the adhesion layer of the substrate on the properties of NKN films.

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Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the LOEWE-Zentrum AdRIA for financial support and Markus Antoni for the assistance with the synthesis.

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Correspondence to Sebastian Wiegand.

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Wiegand, S., Flege, S. & Ensinger, W. Comparison of the influence of titanium and chromium adhesion layers on the properties of sol–gel derived NKN thin films. J Sol-Gel Sci Technol 67, 654–659 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10971-013-3125-3

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Keywords

  • Sol–gel process
  • (Na0.5K0.5)NbO3
  • Thin film
  • Diffusion
  • Substrate
  • Lead-free piezo material