Micromachined epitaxial colossal mognetoresistors for uncooled infrared bolometer
Abstract: High quality perovskite manganites, La1-xAxMnO3 (A = Ca, Sr, Ba) are very attractive materials due to their great application potential for magnetic memory, uncooled infrared (IR) microbolometer and spintronics devices. This thesis presents studies of the growth and material characterization (including structural, electrical, magnetic and noise) of epitaxial manganite films on Si and GaAs. Furthermore, investigations about strain effect on structural and electrical properties of manganites, and finally fabrication of self-supported free standing microstructures for uncooled IR bolometer are also demonstrated.To obtain high quality epitaxial manganite films on semiconductor substrates at room temperature, using a combination of La0.67Sr0.33MnO3 (LSMO) and La0.67Ca0.33MnO3 (LCMO) compounds, La0.67(Sr,Ca)0.33MnO3 (LSCMO) films were successfully grown on Si substrates with Bi4Ti3O12(BTO)/CeO2/YSZ buffers by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. Crystallographic relations between layers shows cube-on-cube for BTO/CeO2/YSZ/Si and diagonal-on-side for LSCMO films on BTO layer. 4.4 %K-1 maximum temperature coefficient of resistivity (TCR = 1/ρ·dρ/dT) and 2.9 %kOe-1 colossal magnetoresistance (CMR) were obtained at room temperature. Assuming of a prototype of temperature sensor, 1.2 μK/√Hz of noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) and 2.9×108 cm√Hz/W of detectivity are expected to achieve at 294 K, 30 Hz. For GaAs substrates, using MgO buffer layer, LCMO films shows 9.0 %K-1 of TCR at 223 K while LSMO exhibits 2 %K-1 at 327 K.Systematic strain effects on structural and electrical properties of La0.75Sr0.25MnO3 LSMO) films on BTO/CeO2/YSZ-buffered Si, Si1-xGex/Si (compressive strain, x = 0.05-0.20) and Si1-yCy/Si (tensile, y = 0.01) were investigated. The strain induced from Si1-xGex/Si and Si0.99C0.01/Si has a tendency to decrease the roughness of CMR films compared to Si sample. High resistivity and low TCR values are observed for Si0.8Ge0.2/Si and Si0.99C0.01/Si samples due to excessive strains whereas Si0.9Ge0.1/Si and Si0.95Ge0.05/Si show slight improvements of films quality and TCR value.To fabricate LSCMO manganite bolometer on Si, wet etching with KOH and BHF and dry etching methods with Ar ion beam etching (IBE) were studied. For KOH wet etching, LSCMO films show high chemical resistance with lower than 0.2 nm/min of etch rate. BHF wet etching shows high etching selectivity over photoresist mask and silicon substrates. The etch rates for LSCMO and BTO layers are 22 and 17 nm/min. For Ar IBE, LSCMO films and oxide buffer layers show similar etch rates, 16-17 nm/min that are lower compared to 24 nm/min for Si.Free standing, self-supported heteroepitaxial LSCMO/BTO/CeO2/YSZ membranes for bolometer pixels on Si was successfully fabricated by Ar IBE and ICP etching techniques using a preannealed photoresist. The structural investigation by TEM revealed the sharp interfaces between layers. The electrical property of the free standing membrane was slightly degraded due to strain release and multi-step etching effect. These results demonstrate feasibility to use heteroepitaxial oxide structures as a thermally isolated membrane with conventional photoresist patterning.
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