Molecular Mechanism of Selective Al2O3 Atomic Layer Deposition on Self-Assembled Monolayers

Youngjin Choi, Hyeng Jin Kim, Eunchan Kim, Huiyeong Kang, Junhyeok Park, Young Rag Do, Kyungwon Kwak, Minhaeng Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Area-selective atomic layer deposition (AS-ALD) of insulating metallic oxide layers could be a useful nanopatterning technique for making increasingly complex semiconductor circuits. Although the alkanethiol self-assembled monolayer (SAM) has been considered promising as an ALD inhibitor, the low inhibition efficiency of the SAM during ALD processes makes its wide application difficult. We investigated the deposition mechanism of Al2O3 on alkanethiol-SAMs using temperature-dependent vibrational sum-frequency-generation spectroscopy. We found that the thermally induced formation of gauche defects in the SAMs is the main causative factor deteriorating the inhibition efficiency. Here, we demonstrate that a discontinuously temperature-controlled ALD technique involving self-healing and dissipation of thermally induced stress on the structure of SAM substantially enhances the SAM’s inhibition efficiency and enables us to achieve 60 ALD cycles (6.6 nm). We anticipate that the present experimental results on the ALD mechanism on the SAM surface and the proposed ALD method will provide clues to improve the efficiency of AS-ALD, a promising nanoscale patterning and manufacturing technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41170-41179
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Aug 30

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Chemical Society


  • area-selective deposition
  • atomic layer deposition
  • self-assembled monolayer
  • surface molecular structure
  • vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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