This research aims at synthesizing multilayer oxide thin films made of Al2O3 and Ta2O5 for dielectric applications. Multilayer thin films made of two, four, or eight oxide layers are synthesized by physical vapor deposition, specifically the mid-frequency pulsed direct current magnetron sputtering. The thin films are made of stoichiometric Al2O3 and Ta2O5 layers having a specific morphology observed from cross-section images obtained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The Al2O3 layers have a columnar structure, whereas the Ta2O5 layers are uniformly dense. X-ray diffraction (XRD) characterizations show that these oxide layers have very limited crystallinity due to the experimental conditions used during the magnetron sputtering process, particularly the low temperature of the substrate.The dielectric behavior of the multilayer oxide thin films is assessed by measuring their dielectric breakdown potential. The two-layer and four-layer systems have intermediate values compared to the dielectric breakdown potentials measured for a monolayer of Al2O3 and a monolayer of Ta2O5 produced under the same experimental conditions. In the case of the eight-layer system, the dielectric breakdown potential value is the highest one, even higher than that measured for a monolayer of Ta2O5.Keywords: Reactive magnetron sputtering, aluminum oxide, tantalum oxide, multilayer thin films, dielectric breakdown
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