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Topographical Evolution of Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) Thin Films Patterned by Micromolding in Capillaries

Summary: Topographical Evolution of Lead Zirconate Titanate (PZT) Thin Films Patterned by
Micromolding in Capillaries
Christopher R. Martin and Ilhan A. Aksay*
Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton UniVersity, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5263
ReceiVed: January 9, 2003
The patterning of sol-gel-derived thin films by micromolding in capillaries can produce unintended
topographical deviations from the shape of the original mold that may limit the utility of the technique in
potential applications. During drying and heat treatment, nonuniform shrinkage across the film due to the
densification of the gel matrix results in "double-peak" film topographies whereby the film thickness is greater
at the lateral edges than in the middle. Using the same framework used to understand the imbibition and
wetting of the sol-gel in the capillary channels, we developed a mechanism to explain the formation of the
double-peak profile. As a model system, patterned Pb(Zr0.52Ti0.48)O3 thin films were studied. Atomic force
microscopic characterization was used to quantify the effect of the rate of gelation on the topography of the
patterned thin films. Modifications to the channel mold design eliminate the peak formation, producing more
homogeneous patterns that better replicate the features of the mold.
I. Introduction
Considerable research effort has been focused on the devel-
opment of thin film technologies for ferroelectric materials.1-5
Ferroelectric materials, such as lead zirconate titanate
(Pb(Zr,Ti)O3, PZT), can be used in integrated electronic devices


Source: Aksay, Ilhan A. - Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University


Collections: Materials Science