For the first time an element other than a metal was deposited by atomic layer deposition (ALD). Pure and conformal thin films of elemental antimony were prepared by ALD using SbCl3 and (Et3Si)(3)Sb as precursors. In situ reaction mechanism studies showed that the dehalosilylation reactions involved are very efficient in eliminating the ligands from the growing surface enabling the use of low growth temperatures down to 95 degrees C. Various antimony compounds, such as GeSb, Sb2Te, GaSb, and AlSb, can also be deposited by reacting (Et3Si)(3)Sb with other metal halides or mixing Sb growth cycles with other ALD processes. The new antimony ALD process is a major step in the realization of non-volatile phase change random access memories (PCRAM) and ALD of III-V compounds.
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