Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology (2011)

Optical and structural properties of aluminium oxide thin films prepared by a non-aqueous sol-gel technique
Nursen Avci, Philippe F. Smet, Johan Lauwaert, Henk Vrielinck, Dirk Poelman
Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology 59 (2011) 327-333

Abstract
Clear aluminium oxide sols without precipitation were synthesized via a non-aqueous sol-gel technique using three different alcohols (ethanol, isopropanol and n-butyl alcohol) as solvent, aluminium sec-butoxide as a precursor and acetyl acetone as a chelating agent. Although all sols could be successfully used to prepare thin films, the most stable one was prepared with n-butyl alcohol. Highly transparent, homogenous and amorphous aluminium oxide thin films were obtained on Si substrates after a heat treatment at 500oC. X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier transform infrared absorption (FT-IR) spectroscopy revealed all films were hydroxide free. The optical and structural properties of the films were particularly investigated. Any significant difference except from thickness on the film properties was not observed by changing the alcohol. Refractive index was used as an indication of the porosity of the films and anged from 1.54 to 1.60.

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