Lithium Barrier Materials for On-Chip Si-Based Microbatteries

Rafael Janski*, Michael Fugger, Magdalena Forster, Michael Sorger, Andreas Dunst, Ilie Hanzu, Michael Sternad, Martin Wilkening

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The integration of lithium-ion batteries, featuring ultra-high discharge rates, directly into silicon-based semiconductor devices opens unique paths towards the development of new mobile micro-electronics applications. Nevertheless, the small and mobile lithium ions have to be confined within the battery area of the silicon chip, otherwise the nearby fine microelectronics devices will be irreversibly damaged. Hence, a barrier material that blocks Li+ transport from the active components of the battery into the surrounding crystalline Si is needed. Here we evaluated the capability of magnetron sputtered barrier films of nitrides and alloys of refractory metals to prevent lithium ion diffusion and, thus, the formation of Li–Si phases outside the battery area. In order to determine the Li profiles in the barrier layer and in the silicon substrate, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy was applied for profiling the first microns. In combination with electrochemical testing it turned out that titanium nitride as well as tantalum nitride barriers are able to significantly block Li ion migration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14605–14614
JournalJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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