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Summary form only given. Surface modification is becoming an increasingly popular method to improve the multi-functionality, tribological and mechanical properties, semi-conductivity, as well as reliability of thin films and materials. Plasma-based deposition is an important and economical technique to modify existing materials for better requirement. We investigate and compare the characteristics of TiN films deposited using plasma immersion ion implantation-deposition (PIII-D) and physical vapor deposition (PVD). Two types of gradient TiO/sub 2//TiN/Si films were fabricated by oxidizing of TiN films at 620/spl deg/C for 20 minutes under an oxygen flow of 0.5 liter per minute. The microstructure, valence state, elemental distribution, and grain size were determined using X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), secondary ion mass spectroscopy (SIMS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).