Lead zirconate titanate thin film capacitors on electroless nickel coated copper foils for embedded passive applications

Taeyun Kim, Angus I. Kingon, Jon Paul Maria, Robert T. Croswell

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13 Scopus citations


Lead zirconate titanate (PZT, 52/48) thin film capacitors were prepared on electroless Ni coated Cu foil by chemical solution deposition for printed wiring board embedded capacitor applications. Phase development, dielectric properties, and leakage characteristics of capacitors were investigated, in particular as a function of the process temperature. Dielectric properties of the capacitors were dependent on the crystallization temperature, and capacitance densities of more than 350 nF/cm2 and loss tangent of less than 0.03 were measured for capacitors crystallized below 600 °C. Lowest leakage current densities (around 2 × 10- 7 A/cm2 at 10 V direct current (DC)) and highest breakdown fields could be obtained for capacitors crystallized at 650 °C. Capacitors with different thickness and a two-layer capacitor model were used in analyzing the interface layer between PZT and the underlying electroless Ni. From the capacitance and leakage measurements, it is suggested that the interface reaction layer has low permittivity (K around 30) and high defect concentration, which has an important effect on the electrical properties of capacitors. This interface is from the reaction of the electroless nickel layer with the adjacent PZT, and may specifically be moderated by the nickel phosphide (Ni-P) phase, transformed from amorphous Ni during the annealing step. The results have significant implications for embedded capacitors in printed wiring boards. They demonstrate that the process can be tuned to produce either voltage independent capacitors with low leakage and high breakdown fields (above 30 V DC), or the more usual hysteretic, switching, ferroelectric capacitors with higher capacitance densities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7331-7336
Number of pages6
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number18
StatePublished - Jun 25 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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