We present here the results of studies of the synthesis and growth behaviors of electroless pure Co thin films on Pd-activated Si substrates using hydrazine as the reductant. Using the hydrazine-modified electroless Co plating processes, dense and continuous pure Co films were deposited on (0 0 1)Si for samples plated at 30-45 °C. This electroless plating process could be explained by the electrochemical mechanism. After a series of transmission electron microscopic examinations, the deposited Co films were determined to be polycrystalline with a hexagonal crystal structure and the average Co film thickness at each temperature studied was found to follow a linear relationship with the plating time. The deposition rates of pure Co films increase with the plating temperatures from 7.3 nm/min to 12.6 nm/min. By measuring the Co deposition rates at different plating temperatures, the activation energy for linear growth of the electroless Co thin films on Si substrates derived from an Arrhenius plot is about 32.6 kJ/mol. As the plating temperature was increased to 50 °C or higher, the plating solution became turbid and the formation of dendritic cobalt deposits was observed.
- Co thin film
- Electroless deposition
- Growth kinetic
- Transmission electron microscopy