The synthesis and fundamental material properties of layered TiAl/Cu/Ta electrodes were investigated to achieve the integration of Cu electrodes with high-dielectric constant (κ) oxide thin films for application to the fabrication of high-frequency devices. The Ta layer is an excellent diffusion barrier to inhibit deleterious Cu diffusion into the Si substrate, while the TiAl layer provides an excellent barrier against oxygen diffusion into the Cu layer to inhibit Cu oxidation during the growth of the high-κ layer in an oxygen atmosphere. Polycrystalline (BaxSr1-x)TiO3 (BST) thin films were grown on the Cu-based bottom electrode by rf magnetron sputtering at temperatures in the range 400–600 °C in oxygen, to investigate the performance of BST/Cu-based capacitors. Characterization of the Cu-based layered structure using surface analytical methods showed that two amorphous oxide layers were formed on both sides of the TiAl barrier, such that the oxide layer on the free surface of the TiAl layer correlates with TiAlOx, while the oxide layer at the TiAl/Cu interface is an Al2O3-rich layer. This double amorphous barrier layer structure effectively prevents oxygen penetration towards the underlying Cu and Ta layers. The TiAlOx interfacial layer, which has a relatively low dielectric constant compared with BST, reduced the total capacitance of the BST thin film capacitors. In addition, the layered electrode-oxide interface roughening observed during the growth of BST films at high temperature, due to copper grain growth, resulted in large dielectric loss on the fabricated BST capacitors. These problems were solved by growing the BST layer at 450 °C followed by a rapid th- ermal annealing at 700 °C. This process significantly reduced the thickness of the TiAlOx layer and interface roughness resulting in BST capacitors exhibiting properties suitable for the fabrication of high-performance high-frequency devices. In summary, relatively high dielectric constant (280), low dielectric loss (0.007), and low leakage current (≪2×10-8 A/cm2 at 100 kV/cm) were achieved for BST thin film capacitors with Cu-based electrodes. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.