Optical properties of amorphous and polycrystalline tantalum oxide thin films measured by spectroscopic ellipsometry from 0.03 to 8.5 eV

E. Franke, M. Schubert, C. L. Trimble, M. J. DeVries, J. A. Woollam

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Amorphous tantalum oxide thin films were deposited by reactive r.f. magnetron sputtering onto silicon[001] substrates. Growth temperature, oxygen partial pressure and total gas pressure have been varied for optimizing thin film density. The as-deposited films were annealed in atmosphere at 700°C and transformed into a polycrystalline state. The thin films were analyzed by glancing-angle-of-incidence X-ray diffraction, and variable angle-of-incidence spectroscopic ellipsometry in the near infrared (NIR) to vacuum-ultra-violet (VUV) spectral region for photon energies from 1 to 8.5 eV, and in the infrared (IR) region from 0.03 to 1 eV. We present the IR dielectric functions of amorphous and polycrystalline tantalum oxide, which were obtained by analyzing the experimental ellipsometric data with Lorentzian lineshapes for each phonon resonance absorption. We observe a shift of the characteristic phonon absorption in tantalum oxide to lower frequencies upon sample annealing. The optical properties in the NIR to VUV were analyzed by using a parametric model approach. The dielectric functions obtained thereby were further locally fitted by Lorentzian lineshapes in order to analyze critical point structures due to electronic band-to-band transitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-289
Number of pages7
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2001



  • Amorphization
  • Crystallization
  • Infrared spectroscopy
  • Optical properties
  • Tantalum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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