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The importance of an integrated approach involving synthetic chemistry, physical chemistry, and chemical engineering to the development of new thermal chemical vapor deposition (CVD) processes for the production of thin-film electronic materials is discussed. Particular emphasis is placed on choosing precursor molecules with facile thermal decomposition pathways that lead to pure films at low temperatures. Two examples from our laboratories, the deposition of copper from trialkylphosphine cyclopentadienyl copper complexes and the deposition of gallium nitride from diethylgallium azide, are used to illustrate the principles of precursor selection, the design factors for the construction of thermal CVD reactors, and the selection of processing conditions that optimize production of the desired material. In addition, new work on the thermal CVD of copper using an advanced reactor and examples of selective copper deposition and conformal copper deposition using the reactor are presented.
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