A method of making a semiconductor structure includes contacting a surface of a semiconductor with a liquid including Zr.sub.4(OPr.sup.n).sub.16 to form a modified surface, activating the modified surface, and repeating the contacting and activating to form a layer of zirconia on the semiconductor surface.
 The subject matter of this application was in part funded by the Department of Energy (Grant nos. DEFG02-91ER45439), through the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The government may have certain rights in this invention. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Energy.