Li-Containing Organic Thin Film - Structure of Lithium Propane Dioxide via Molecular Layer Deposition

Haotian Wang, Keith E. Gregorczyk, Sang Bok Lee, Gary W. Rubloff, Chuan Fu Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In combining organometallic with organic precursors, molecular layer deposition (MLD) offers not only an expanded portfolio of molecular combinations but specifically the possibility of tuning mechanical properties for more robust functionality. This is appealing for applications in energy storage, where ion transport in and out of electrodes causes significant stress/strain cycling. It is particularly opportune for Li-ion solid state batteries (LISSBs), where electrode and solid electrolyte structures are usually arranged densely for high power and energy. Despite diverse MLD applications to date, little prior research has been aimed at Li-containing MLD materials and processes. Here, we report the MLD growth and process for a lithium-containing organic thin film using lithium tert-butoxide (LiOtBu) and 1,3-propanediol, leading to an MLD film of lithium propane dioxide, Li2O2C3H6 (LPDO), identified through X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and ab initio calculations. The growth showed self-limiting behavior for both precursors, with significant nucleation delay before linear growth at 0.23 Å/cycle at 150 °C, and 0.15 Å/cycle at 200 °C. XPS-determined stoichiometry was Li1.6O2.2C3H6 at both 150 and 200 °C, while additional species, presumably from incomplete reaction, were found at 100 °C, leading to a notably higher (0.84 Å/cycle) growth rate. The LPDO film showed crystallinity and high surface roughness when grown on the crystalline substrate, while on the amorphous substrate, an amorphous LPDO film with low surface roughness was observed. In addition, high air sensitivity of LPDO film was observed, with Li propyl carbonate and Li carbonate formation under air exposure. Further modification strategies were proposed in order to achieve a MLD or atomic layer deposition-/MLD-based solid electrolyte material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6830-6837
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number12
StatePublished - 26 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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