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Solgel derived tantalum pentoxide films as ultraviolet antireflective coatings for silicon

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Abstract

A solgel process is described to produce Ta2O5 films as short wavelength antireflective (AR) coatings for silicon. The AR coatings were optimized for 370 nm by controlling the acid catalyzed hydrolysis of Ta(OC2H5)5, the spin coating parameters, and the heat treatment process (rapid thermal processing (RTP) and muffle furnace). Film thickness uniformity across the wafer was better than 1%, and all the coatings tested passed the standard scotch tape test before and after heat treatment and exhibited no change in optical properties after submersion in liquid N2. Several heat treatment protocols for densifying the films were studied. Spin coated films heat treated in a muffle furnace at 275°C yielded Ta2O5 AR coatings that reduced the reflectance losses from silicon at 370 nm by 86%, the reduction being within 1% of the theoretical value. Films subjected to RTP at temperatures ranging from 300 to 1000°C reduced the reflectance loss in some cases by as much as 95%. The results demonstrate that spin coated solgel derived Ta2O5 films subjected to a low temperature (<300°C) heat treatment can form durable films suitable for near UV AR coatings for high index silicon devices, such as charge couple imagers and photovoltaic cells.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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