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Changes in TCR of amorphous Ni–P resistive films as a function of thermal stabilization parameters

P. Kowalik (Silesian University of Technology, Institute of Electronics, Gliwice, Poland)
Z. Pruszowski (Silesian University of Technology, Institute of Electronics, Gliwice, Poland)
J. Kulawik (Institute of Electron Technology, Crakow Division, Kraków, Poland)
Andrzej Czerwiński (Institute of Electron Technology, Warszawa, Poland)
Mariusz Pluska (Institute of Electron Technology, Warszawa, Poland)

Microelectronics International

ISSN: 1356-5362

Article publication date: 4 August 2014




This paper aims to select parameters such as temperature thermal stability and temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) for Ni–P resistive alloys obtained by electroless metallization. Ni–P alloys are used in the manufacture of precision resistors characterized by TCR in the range of ± 10 ppm/K. The correlation of the technological parameters with the electrical properties of resistors enables the accurate prediction of the TCR resistors.


The Ni–P layers were obtained by a continuous process at about 373 K in a solution with the acidity of pH = 2 and then dried for two hours at 393 K. Subsequently, the Ni–P layer was stabilized for two hours in the temperature range of 453-533 K. Resistance was measured with an accuracy of 1 mΩ. TCR was determined with an accuracy of 1 ppm/K in the temperature range 298-398 K. In the next stage of the investigation, the increase in TCR of the Ni–P alloy was correlated with the increase in stabilization temperature. Scanning electron microscope images of the alloy surface were studied to assess grain sizes and to relate the average grain size with TCR values of resistive alloys. The X-ray diffraction analysis was performed to determine the crystallization temperature of Ni–P alloy.


The conducted investigation showed that the TCR increase in alloy is a linear function of stabilization temperature in the temperature range in which transition from amorphous phase to crystalline phases did not occur. TCR increase in Ni–P alloy arises from the increase of average size of grains resulting in decrease of scattering of electrons on grain boundaries. The analysis of alloy composition in chosen fragments of surface shows inhomogeneity growing with decreasing analyzed surface dimensions which proves that, before the stabilization, the structural arrangement of alloy is inconsiderable.


The obtained results are the first attempt to relate the morphology of surface with TCR of alloy and demonstration of linear dependence between an increase in TCR of amorphic Ni–P alloy and stabilization temperature of resistive layer. Such correlations are not described in available literature.



Kowalik, P., Pruszowski, Z., Kulawik, J., Czerwiński, A. and Pluska, M. (2014), "Changes in TCR of amorphous Ni–P resistive films as a function of thermal stabilization parameters", Microelectronics International, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 149-153.



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