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Studies on hard TaN thin film deposition by R C-Mag technique

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1 Author(s)
Valleti, Krishna ; Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai 600036, India

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The physical and mechanical properties of pulsed rotating cylindrical magnetron sputter-grown tantalum nitride (TaN) thin films were studied. Initially, films were grown at ambient substrate temperature by varying the reactive (N2) to sputter (Ar) gas ratio (R) at a constant pulsing frequency of the target power (100 kHz). The results were compared with planar magnetron-grown TaN samples. The R C-Mag. grown thin films have properties nearly similar to the high temperature (300 °C) dc planar magnetron sputter deposited samples. In comparison to the planar magnetron deposition, the progression of the phase composition occurs over a wider range of R in the pulsed R C-Mag. deposition. These observed differences for R C-Mag. deposition are attributed to the increased glancing angle deposition of adatoms and pulsing of the target power. To study the effect of pulsing frequency of the target power in R C-Mag., the films were also grown at different frequencies at a fixed R (0.1). With the increase in frequency, the mechanical hardness increased up to 50 kHz and started decreasing beyond 50 kHz. The observed changes in the mechanical hardness are attributed to the increase in stress and to the formation of increased polycrystalline understoichiometric TaN phases.

Published in:

Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 4 )