Solution Deposition of Amorphous Zirconia Thin Films

Technology Description

OSU researchers have developed methods of making amorphous zirconium and hafnium halogenides with aqueous solution processing. The resulting films are extremely smooth, nearly as dense as fully densified crystalline films, and have high optical transparency. The solution deposition process eliminates the need for processing under a vacuum and enables coverage of large area substrates. The aqueous chemistry eliminates most hazardous and costly solvents and also reduces post-deposition processing.

Features & Benefits

  • Less expensive equipment costs
  • High quality films
  • Large surface area coverage


  • High-k dielectrics
  • Alkali diffusion barriers
  • Metal passivation layers

Background of Invention

Currently, coating large surface areas on glass substrates is done by physical vapor deposition, a deposition technique that require a high vacuum environment, increasing the expense of the process. Physical vapor deposition techniques are also conformal, amplifying any imperfection or blemish in the deposition substrate with each successive deposition layer while simultaneously necessitating thicker films to compensate for those imperfections, adding cost and reducing performance. Further, the post-annealing typically employed by physical vapor deposition techniques often results in crystallization of the deposited thin film. In some applications, crystallization is desired, but for other applications, an amorphous or glassy material may be preferred. Therefore, there remains a need for deposition methods that are less expensive, robust to substrate imperfections, and allow for the deposition of amorphous thin films over large substrate surface areas.


Patent pending



X-ray reflectivity data showing the amorphous nature of an extremely smooth thin film made by this method

Patent Information:
Tech ID:
David Dickson
IP & Licensing Manager
Oregon State University
James Sommers
Jennie Amador
Douglas Keszler
alkali diffusion barrier
thin film
zirconia and hafnia thin films
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