Atomic layer deposition of nickel–cobalt spinel thin films
We report the atomic layer deposition (ALD) of high-quality crystalline thin films of the spinel-oxide system (Co1−xNix)3O4. These spinel oxides are ferrimagnetic p-type semiconductors, and promising material candidates for several applications ranging from photovoltaics and spintronics to thermoelectrics. The spinel phase is obtained for Ni contents exceeding the x = 0.33 limit for bulk samples. It is observed that the electrical resistivity decreases continuously with x while the magnetic moment increases up to x = 0.5. This is in contrast to bulk samples where a decrease of resistivity is not observed for x > 0.33 due to the formation of a rock-salt phase. From UV-VIS-NIR absorption measurements, a change from distinct absorption edges for the parent oxide Co3O4 to a continuous absorption band ranging deep into the near infrared for 0 < x ≤ 0.5 was observed. The conformal deposition of dense films on high-aspect-ratio patterns is demonstrated.