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MAX-Phase Films Overcome Scaling Limitations to the Resistivity of Metal Thin Films

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces

Metal thin films have been widely used as conductors in semiconductor devices for several decades. However, the resistivity of metal thin films such as Cu and TiN increases substantially (>1000%) as they become thinner (<10 nm) when using high-density integration to improve device performance. In this study, the resistivities of MAX-phase V2AlC films grown on sapphire substrates exhibited a significantly weaker dependence on the film thickness than conventional metal films that resulted in a resistivity increase of only 30%, as the V2AlC film thickness decreased from approximately 45 to 5 nm. The resistivity was almost identical for film thicknesses of 1050 nm. The small change in the resistivity of V2AlC films with decreasing film thickness originated from the highly ordered crystalline quality and small electron mean free path (11?13.6 nm). Thus, MAX-phase thin films have great potential in advanced metal technology to overcome the current scaling limitations of semiconductor devices.

ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2021, 13, 61809?61817