Monomeric malonate precursors for the MOCVD of HfO2 and ZrO2 thin films

Ramasamy Pothiraja, Adrian Milanov, Harish Parala, Manuela Winter, Roland A. Fischer, Anjana Devi



New Hf and Zr malonate complexes have been synthesized by the reaction of metal amides with different malonate ligands (L = dimethyl malonate (Hdmml), diethyl malonate (Hdeml), di-tert-butyl malonate (Hdbml) and bis(trimethylsilyl) malonate (Hbsml)). Homoleptic eight-coordinated monomeric compounds of the type ML4 were obtained for Hf with all the malonate ligands employed. In contrast, for Zr only Hdmml and Hdeml yielded the eight-coordinated monomeric compounds of the type ML4, while using the bulky Hdbml and Hbsml ligands resulted into mixed alkoxo-malonato six-coordinated compounds of the type {[}ML2(OR)(2)]. Single crystal X-ray diffraction studies of all the compounds are presented and discussed, and they are found to be monomeric. The complexes are solids and in solution, they retain their monomeric nature as evidenced by NMR measurements. Compared to the classical beta-diketonate complexes, {[}M(acac)(4)] and {[}M(thd)(4)] (M = Hf, Zr; acac: acetylacetonate; thd: tetramethylheptadione), the new malonate compounds are more volatile, decompose at lower temperatures and have lower melting points. In particular, the homoleptic diethyl malonate complexes of Hf and Zr melt at temperatures as low as 62 degrees C. In addition, the compounds are very stable in air and can be sublimed quantitatively. The promising thermal properties makes these compounds interesting for metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD). This was demonstrated by depositing HfO2 and ZrO2 thin films successfully with two representative Hf and Zr complexes.