Polyoxoniobates as molecular building blocks in thin films†
Niobium oxide thin films have been prepared by spin-coating aqueous solutions of tetramethylammonium salts of the isostructural polyoxometalate clusters [Nb10O28]6−, [TiNb9O28]7− and [Ti2Nb8O28]8− onto silicon wafers, and annealing them. The [Nb10O28]6− cluster yields films of Nb2O5 in the orthorhombic and monoclinic crystal phases when annealed at 800 °C and 1000 °C, respectively, whereas the [TiNb9O28]7− and [Ti2Nb8O28]8− clusters yield the monoclinic crystal phases of Ti2Nb12O29 and TiNb2O7 (titanium–niobium oxides) in different ratios. We also demonstrate a protocol for depositing successive layers of metal oxide films. Finally, we explore factors affecting the roughness of the films.