The effect of substrate orientation and ion bombardment during the growth on the structure and properties of TiN films deposited by reactive unbalanced magnetron sputtering has been reported. Films deposited at a nitrogen partial pressure of 5×10-5 mbar and a current density of 2.50 mA cm-2 were golden yellow in color, characteristic of stoichiometric TiN. The effect of Si(100) and Si(111) substrates on the TiN film along with the substrate bias has been investigated. With an increase in the substrate bias on Si(111) substrate, TiN(111) is the most preferred orientation. On a Si(100) substrate with an increase in the substrate bias, TiN(220) orientation has been observed. The influence of the substrate on the growth of TiN films has been explained in terms of surface energy. The variation of grain size, resistivity, and the internal stress of TiN films as the function of substrate bias have also been investigated. © 2002 American Vacuum Society.