An old workhorse for new applications: Fe(dpm)3 as a precursor for low-temperature PECVD of iron(iii) oxide†
An iron(III) β-diketonate complex, Fe(dpm)3 (Hdpm = 2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-3,5-heptanedione), has been investigated as a potential precursor for plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) of iron(III) oxide nanomaterials. Thanks to the combined experimental–theoretical approach, spectroscopic properties, spin state, thermal behavior and fragmentation pathways of Fe(dpm)3 have been carefully analysed, obtaining an excellent agreement between simulation and experiment. Preliminary PECVD tests evidenced the possibility of obtaining pure and homogeneous Fe2O3 deposits with controlled nano-organization at temperatures as low as 100 °C, even on flexible plastic substrates. The present results open up intriguing perspectives for the exploitation of Fe(dpm)3 as an efficient molecular source for the preparation of nanostructured iron(III) oxides to be used in energetics and gas sensing applications.