Scandium(III) oxide thin film deposition has been historically difficult to achieve without the use of vacuum-based or wet chemical systems due to precursor limitations of low vapour pressure or ambient instability. In this letter, the adoption of aerosol-assisted delivery of scandium(III) acetylacetonate has enabled the chemical vapour deposition of polycrystalline and amorphous Sc2O3 thin films at ambient pressure with high growth rates (ca. 500 nm h-1). The scandia films were intrinsically highly photoluminescent, exhibiting broad emission bands centred at 3.6 and 3.0 eV, which increased significantly in intensity upon aerobic annealing, accompanying a transition from amorphous to crystalline, while bands appearing at 2.1 and 2.3 eV seemed to occur only in the crystalline films. In addition, both amorphous and crystalline scandia films exhibited blue-green vibronic fine structure between 2.3 and 3.2 eV attributed to the electronic transition B Σ + → Χ Σ + 2 2 in surface ⋯ O - ⋯ O - S c = O groups and split by a vibrational mode observed at 920 ± 60 cm - 1 by infrared spectroscopy. Band gaps of amorphous and crystalline Sc2O3 were determined to be 5.3 and 5.7 eV, respectively via diffuse reflectance. All films had high refractive indices, varying between 1.8 and 2.0 at 400 nm depending on film thickness and carrier gas used in the deposition; film thicknesses less than ca. 300 nm were observed to have a strong influence on the refractive index measured, while there was little variation for films thicker than this. The synthesis process itself is exceedingly low-cost and facile thus promising streamlined industrial scalability.
Dixon, S. C., Jiamprasertboon, A., Carmalt, C. J., & Parkin, I. P. (2018). Luminescence behaviour and deposition of Sc2O3 thin films from scandium(III) acetylacetonate at ambient pressure. Applied Physics Letters, 112(22). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5038636