Corrosion protection of Cu by atomic layer deposition
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a vapor phase technique that is able to deposit uniform, conformal thin films with an excellent thickness control at the atomic scale. 18 nm thick Al2O3 and TiO2 coatings were deposited conformaly and pinhole-free onto micrometer-sized Cu powder, using trimethylaluminum and tetrakis(dimethylamido)titanium(IV), respectively, as a precursor and de-ionized water as a reactant. The capability of the ALD coating to protect the Cu powder against corrosion was investigated. Therefore, the stability of the coatings was studied in solutions with different pH in the range of 0-14, and in situ raman spectroscopy was used to detect the emergence of corrosion products of Cu as an indication that the protective coating starts to fail. Both ALD coatings provide good protection at standard pH values in the range of 5-7. In general, the TiO2 coating shows a better barrier protection against corrosion than the Al2O3 coating. However, for the most extreme pH conditions, pH 0 and pH 14, the TiO2 coating starts also to degrade.