Optimization of reactive ion beam sputtered Ta2O5 for III–V compounds

Jarno Reuna, Marianna Vuorinen, Riku Isoaho, Arto Aho, Severi Mäkelä, Arttu Hietalahti, Elina Anttola, Antti Tukiainen, Mircea Guina

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We report the optimization of the process parameters used in ion beam sputtering of dielectric Ta2O5 thin films on III–V semiconductor surfaces, with an aim of minimizing the deterioration of semiconductor surfaces and their opto-electric performance. We demonstrate that linear tuning of the three main sputtering parameters, namely, the primary source radiofrequency power, the ion beam current, and the ion beam voltage, allows optimizing the deposition conditions of Ta2O5 minimizing the damage to the III–V surfaces. The effect of parametrization is evaluated by deposition of a Ta2O5 antireflection coating on GaAs-based multijunction solar cells employing AlGaAs and AlInP window layers. Numerical study reveals that the main source of damage is the scattered primary ions, in this case argon ions, that have not contributed to the sputtering process of the Ta2O5 at the target. Moreover, it is likely that the reactive oxygen atmosphere oxidizes the semiconductor surfaces in the initial phase of the deposition process. A similar optimization procedure should be employed for any other thin film directly deposited by reactive ion beam sputtering on III–V surfaces and optoelectronics devices to avoid deposition induced damage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number139601
Number of pages9
JournalThin Solid Films
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • III–V semiconductors
  • Ion beam sputtering
  • Optimization
  • Solar cells
  • Tantalum pentoxide

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

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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