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Deposition pressure dependence of internal stress in TiN films deposited by filtered cathodic vacuum arc

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2 Author(s)
Cheng, Y.H. ; State Key Laboratory of Plastic Forming Simulation and Die and Mould Technology, State Key Laboratory of Laser Technology, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei 430074, People’s Republic of China ; Tay, B.K.

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TiN films were deposited by an off-plane double bend filtered cathodic vacuum arc technique. The composition, structure, and surface morphology of the films were characterized by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, and atomic force microscopy, respectively. Internal stress was determined by a substrate bending method. The influence of the deposition pressure on the composition, structure, and internal stress of the films was studied systematically. At a deposition pressure of 1×10-5Torr, the films are composed of single α-TiN0.30 phase with fairly low internal stress, and the atomic ratio of N to Ti is 0.32. As the deposition pressure increases to 5×10-5Torr, the N/Ti ratio increases to 0.56, and the films are composed of a mixture of hexagonal α-TiN0.30 and cubic TiN0.90. The formation of TiN0.90 phase and the mismatch of these two kinds of phases contribute to a dramatic increase of internal stress in the films. The increase of deposition pressure to 2×10-4Torr results in the formation of stoichiometric TiN films with single TiN phase, which corresponds to slightly lower internal stress. However, a further increase of deposition pressure results in a continuous increase in the N/Ti ratio and the formation of overstoichiometric films. The incorporation of excess N atoms in the films accounts for the further increase of internal stress. © 2003 American Vacuum Society.

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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 5 )