Precursor Design and Synthesis
Certain methods for growth of thin films or nanostructures involve decomposition of an organometallic or inorganic complex to generate the target material. The chemistry of the organometallic precursor is critical for controlling the deposition and the properties of the deposited material. We use a chemistry-based approach to designing precursors that requires consideration of the physical properties of the precursor compound and the mechanisms of its probable decomposition pathways. We synthesize the precursors we have designed and then we investigate the relationship between mechanistic study of their decomposition and the resulting deposition kinetics and materials properties. The techniques we use to study decomposition pathways in organometallic compounds include multinuclear NMR, mass spectrometry, identification of pyrolysis products, DFT calculations, thermogravimetric analysis, determination of photochemical properties such as quantum yields and single crystal X-ray structure determination. Additional details can be found in the selected publications.