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Tantalum Pentoxide Ta2O5 Notes


Tantalum Pentoxide (Ta2O5) General Information

Tantalum oxide is an inorganic chemical compound with a chemical formula of Ta2O5. It is crystalline solid and white in appearance with a density of 8.2 g/cc, a melting point of 1,872°C, and a vapor pressure of 10-4 Torr at 1,920°C. It is mainly used to produce capacitors which can be found in auto electronics, cell phones, and tools. Tantalum oxide can also be found in the glass for camera lenses. It is evaporated under vacuum to form films for the fabrication of semiconductors, optoelectronic devices, and fuel cells.

Tantalum Pentoxide Ta2O5 Specifications

Material TypeTantalum Pentoxide
SymbolTa2O5
Color/AppearanceWhite, Crystalline Solid
Melting Point (°C)1,872
Theoretical Density (g/cc)8.2
SputterRF, RF-R
Max Power Density
(Watts/Square Inch)
20*
Type of BondIndium, Elastomer
Z Ratio0.3
E-BeamGood
Thermal Evaporation Techniques Boat:  Ta
Coil:  W
Basket:  W
Crucible:  VitC
E-Beam Crucible Liner MaterialFABMATE®, Tantalum
Temp. (°C) for Given Vap. Press. (Torr) 10-8:  1,550
10-6:  1,780
10-4:  1,920
CommentsSlight decomposition. Evaporate Ta in 10-3 Torr O2.

* This is a recommendation based on our experience running these materials in KJLC guns. The ratings are based on unbonded targets and are material specific. Bonded targets should be run at lower powers to prevent bonding failures. Bonded targets should be run at 20 Watts/Square Inch or lower, depending on the material.

Z-Factors

Empirical Determination of Z-Factor

Unfortunately, Z Factor and Shear Modulus are not readily available for many materials. In this case, the Z-Factor can also be determined empirically using the following method:

  • Deposit material until Crystal Life is near 50%, or near the end of life, whichever is sooner.
  • Place a new substrate adjacent to the used quartz sensor.
  • Set QCM Density to the calibrated value; Tooling to 100%
  • Zero thickness
  • Deposit approximately 1000 to 5000 A of material on the substrate.
  • Use a profilometer or interferometer to measure the actual substrate film thickness.
  • Adjust the Z Factor of the instrument until the correct thickness reading is shown.

Another alternative is to change crystals frequently and ignore the error. The graph below shows the % Error in Rate/Thickness from using the wrong Z Factor. For a crystal with 90% life, the error is negligible for even large errors in the programmed versus actual Z Factor.

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