Date of Award

Summer 12-15-2018

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

OTHER (field to write program or direct student to write it in Notes to Administrator)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Aluminum is an ideal metal for solution-processed oxide dielectrics because it can form polymerized hydroxo networks in aqueous solution and dense amorphous oxide dielectrics by vacuum methods. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is one of the traditional vacuum methods for thin film deposition, however, ALD is not the most economically feasible method for thin film fabrication due to high operational cost and limitations in large surface-area applications. Solution deposition is a more economical deposition method which is more cost-saving and ideal for large surface area thin film fabrication. The behavior of the solution-solid structural conversion remains an enigma; thus, this research seeks to understand the structural transformation of thin films from solution to solid in order to fabricate films with optimal properties.

Aluminum oxide (AlxOy) thin films prepared from aqueous solution-deposited cluster precursors have been proposed for use in devices such as high-k dielectrics in solar cell materials. The films are fabricated with different aluminum-derived precursors, spin-coated on a substrate and annealed at a range of temperatures. The low temperature range of these films are amorphous, therefore lack long range order. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (ssNMR) can be used to determine the amorphous structure of these materials. Herein, a combination of X-ray diffraction (XRD), and NMR techniques are used to elucidate the transformation of these thin films as they are annealed to high temperatures.


English (en)


Sophia E. Hayes

Committee Members

Alexander Barnes, Jeffrey Catalano, John Fortner, Bryce Sadtler,

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