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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films

Issue 4 • Date Jul 2005

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 130
  • Issue Cover

    Page(s): c1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Issue Table of Contents

    Page(s): toc1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition of TiN monitored by in situ spectroscopic ellipsometry

    Page(s): L5 - L8
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    In situ spectroscopic ellipsometry has been employed to determine the properties of titanium nitride (TiN) films during plasma-assisted atomic layer deposition by alternating TiCl4 precursor dosing and H2N2 plasma exposure. Besides monitoring the film thickness when optimizing the half reactions, it is shown that spectroscopic ellipsometry is a very valuable tool for in situ studies of (air-sensitive) film properties such as resistivity, and for investigating the nucleation phase during initial film growth. View full abstract»

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  • In situ examination of tin oxide atomic layer deposition using quartz crystal microbalance and Fourier transform infrared techniques

    Page(s): 581 - 588
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    The atomic layer deposition (ALD) of tin oxide thin films has been examined using in situ quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) techniques. The SnOx films were deposited using sequential exposures of SnCl4 and H2O2 at temperatures from 150 to 430 °C. The linear growth of the tin oxide ALD films was observed by both the mass gain during QCM measurements and the background infrared absorbance increase during FTIR investigations. The FTIR spectra revealed the loss and gain of the O–H stretching vibrations of the hydroxyl group for the SnCl4 and H2O2 exposures, respectively. The background infrared absorbance also oscillated after each SnCl4 and H2O2 exposure. The background absorbance increased after SnCl4 exposure and decreased after H2O2 exposure. QCM measurements were consistent with a tin oxide ALD growth rate of ∼60 ng cm-2 per cycle. This mass change corresponds to a growth rate of ∼0.7 Å/cycle at 325 °C assuming a SnO2 density of 6.9 g cm-3. Additional ex situ surface analysis using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) revealed that the SnOx films grown at 325 °C were defined by x≪2. Atomic force microscope (AFM) results also showed that the SnOx ALD films deposited on Si(100) wafers have a very rough surface. Understanding and controlling the growth of tin oxide ALD films should be useful to enhance the sensitivity of SnOx gas sensors. View full abstract»

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  • Characterization of nitrogen distribution in HfO2 with low energy secondary ion mass spectrometry

    Page(s): 589 - 592
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    Accurate characterization of the nitrogen distribution in a thin HfO2 film is important for process development on the nitridation of HfO2. Low energy secondary ion mass spectrometry (LESIMS) is potentially the technique of choice, thanks to the combined strength of high depth resolution and high detection sensitivity. By using a 250 eV, 60° O2+ primary beam and detecting 30NO- and 32O2- secondary ions, SIMS analysis was capable of profiling nitrogen in HfO2 with very short surface transient and minimal matrix effect across the HfO2Si interface. This particular condition also exhibited desirable low yield of Si- secondary ions, i.e., minimal contribution of 30Si- to 30NO- through mass interference. Applications of this technique revealed incorporation of nitrogen at high levels in the top part of a HfO2 film by the modified magnetic type (MMT) plasma nitridation. The data also suggested loss of nitrogen near the top of an HfO2 film but no depletion across the interface between HfO2 and the interfacial as a result of the post nitridation anneal in O2. View full abstract»

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  • Microstructure and nanohardness properties of Zr–Al–N and Zr–Cr–N thin films

    Page(s): 593 - 598
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    Thin films of zirconium based ternary transition metal nitrides Zr1-xMxN with M=Al, Cr were deposited on silicon, and WC–Co substrates by reactive magnetron sputtering. The chemical composition was measured by electron probe microanalysis. Cross-section transmission electron microscopy together with x-ray diffraction analysis showed that the films were solid solution single-phase fcc NaCl type of structure (B1). The columnar morphology, examined by transmission electron microscopy, does not change with increasing aluminum and chromium content. The stress-free lattice parameter of both coatings decreases linearly with x. With the increase of the Al content, the texture of the fcc–Zr1-xAlxN thin films progressively changes into randomly orientated, whereas that of Zr1-xCrxN remains unchanged. The nanohardness values gradually increase from Hn=21 up to 28 GPa as x increases from 0 to 0.43: the maximum hardness corresponds to a valence electron concentration =8.57 for x=0.43. In contrast, the hardness and Young’s modulus in Zr1-xCrxN remain nearly the same for all Cr contents. View full abstract»

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  • Inhibition of excess interface Si atom generation in 700 °C-grown pyrolytic-gas passivated ultrathin silicon oxide films

    Page(s): 599 - 604
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    Number densities of Si and O atoms for 3.5–6.5 nm thick silicon oxide films on Si(100), which were oxidized at 700–900 °C using an in situ pyrolytic-gas passivation (PGP) method, were determined by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry. PGP was recently proposed to passivate the Si dangling bonds with a little pyrolytic N2O. It was found for all films that excess Si atoms relative to the stoichiometric SiO2 composition exist near the silicon oxide–Si(100) interface, but the number of excess Si atoms is less than that of normal oxidation films. In particular, the number of excess Si atoms of the 700 °C grown PGP-oxidized films is almost equivalent to that of the 850 °C grown normal oxidation ones. This suppression of the excess Si atom generation might cause a strong retention of high electrical reliability for low-temperature PGP-oxidized films. View full abstract»

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  • Enlargement of grain in poly-Si by adding Au in Ni-mediated crystallization of amorphous Si using a SiNx cap layer

    Page(s): 605 - 608
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    We have studied the effect of Au addition on Ni-mediated crystallization of amorphous silicon(a-Si) using a silicon–nitride (SiNx) cap layer. The Ni and Au particles were sputtered on the SiNx/a-Si and then the samples were heated for crystallization at a temperature of 550 °C. We achieved disk-shaped grains and found that the grain size increased with increasing Au density when the Ni density was fixed at 2.45×1014/cm2. We achieved a grain size of ∼45 μm, however the a-Si could not be crystallized when Au density is higher than Ni density. View full abstract»

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  • Sb-induced reconstruction of the Si(112) surface

    Page(s): 609 - 612
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    We have investigated the Sb-induced reconstruction of the Si(112) surface using low energy electron diffraction (LEED) and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Upon Sb adsorption on the clean reconstructed Si(112) surface at 300 °C, the Si(112)-(111)1×1-Sb surface was obtained. The present STM study gathered the following findings: The Sb-adsorbed Si(112) surface is composed of saw toothlike nanofacets, which are composed of the (557) plane and the (111) plane. The (557) plane consists of about five (111) planes with five times the width of bulk-terminated (111)1×1 unit cell and (001) plane. It is also about 8.5 Å in height and tilted at a 9.9° angle with respect to the basal plane (112). Based on observation, it appears that the Sb atoms on the (111) planes substitute for the topmost Si atoms on the ideal Si(111)1×1 surface. Based on the STM results, we suggest a structural model and discuss the reconstructing mechanism of nanofacets induced by Sb adsorption. View full abstract»

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  • Adsorption and reactions of tetrabutoxysilane (TBOS) on Si(100)

    Page(s): 613 - 616
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    Adsorption and reactions of tetrabutoxysilane (Si(OC4H9)4) on a Si(100) surface were investigated using temperature programmed desorption and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Physisorbed tetrabutoxysilane undergoes C–O bond scission to form OSi(OC4H9)3 and butyl species on Si(100) at 200 K. It is observed that further C–O bond scission takes place sequentially in the temperature range of 200–500 K. Main desorption products are butene and hydrogen, which are desorbed at 410 K and 820 K, respectively. We propose that the production of butene takes place through β-hydride elimination of the butyl group on Si(100). View full abstract»

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  • Clean wurtzite InN surfaces prepared with atomic hydrogen

    Page(s): 617 - 620
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    Conventional methods of surface preparation for III–V semiconductors, such as thermal annealing and sputtering, are severely limited for InN, resulting in In-enrichment and the introduction of donorlike defects. This is explained in terms of the unusually low Γ-point conduction band minimum of InN with respect to its Fermi stabilization energy. Here, low energy atomic hydrogen irradiation is used to produce clean wurtzite InN surfaces without such detrimental effects. A combination of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and high-resolution electron-energy-loss spectroscopy was used to confirm the removal of atmospheric contaminants. Low energy electron diffraction revealed a (1×1) surface reconstruction after cleaning. Finally, XPS revealed In/N intensity ratios consistent with a predominantly In polarity InN film terminated by In-adlayers in analogy with c-plane GaN{0001}-(1×1) surfaces. View full abstract»

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  • Microstructural evolution of AlN coatings synthesized by unbalanced magnetron sputtering

    Page(s): 621 - 627
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    Polycrystalline aluminum nitride (AlN) thin films with wurtzite structure were deposited on silicon substrate by an unbalanced magnetron sputtering system equipped with a pulse dc power supply. Microstructure and chemistry of the AlN-coated substrates under different deposition time were characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). XRD results show that the thin films exhibit enhanced (002) preferred orientation. It was obtained from FE-SEM and TEM results that the AlN films have a columnar structure, and that the size of the columns increases with the distance from the substrate and the deposition time. Furthermore, AFM analysis indicates that the surface roughness of the coatings increases with the deposition time. In addition, EDS and EELS analyses give the chemical composition of the coating and the Al–N bonding state present in the coating. View full abstract»

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  • Study on strain and piezoelectric polarization of AlN thin films grown on Si

    Page(s): 628 - 630
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    The strain and piezoelectric polarization of AlN thin films grown on Si(111) substrates by metalorganic chemical-vapor deposition were investigated by using x-ray diffraction and Raman measurements. The stress and piezoelectric polarization of the AlN films were analyzed with E2 (high) phonon-mode frequency shifts in Raman spectra. The result indicates that the biaxial compressive stress is about 4.3 GPa, and the piezoelectric polarization is about 1.91×10-2 C/m2. Phonons of Si–N bonds were also observed accompanying phonons of AlN crystal in Raman spectra, which indicate the interdiffusion of Si and N atoms during growth. View full abstract»

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  • Chromium diboride thin films by low temperature chemical vapor deposition

    Page(s): 631 - 633
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    Thin films of chromium diboride, a “metallic ceramic” material with a melting point of 2200 °C, were deposited by chemical vapor deposition using a single-source precursor, the bis(octahydrotriborato)chromium(II) complex Cr(B3H8)2 at substrate temperatures as low as 200 °C. The films were stoichiometric, and had electrical resistivities of 105–450 μΩ cm for growth temperatures spanning a range of 200–400 °C. The film microstructure ranged from being x-ray amorphous at low growth temperatures to nanocrystalline for substrate temperatures ≫500 °C. The growth process was highly conformal, as determined by the film coverage profile on trenches with a depth–width ratio of 7:1. View full abstract»

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  • Studies of film deposition in fluorocarbon plasmas employing a small gap structure

    Page(s): 634 - 642
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    A small gap structure was designed to examine surface chemistry aspects of film deposition for fluorocarbon (FC) plasmas produced using both inductively coupled plasma (ICP) and capacitively coupled plasma (CCP) systems. The small gap structure provides a completely shadowed region without direct ion bombardment. Neutrals diffuse into this region and form a fluorocarbon layer. The lack of ion bombardment increases the retention of the chemical structure of the FC film precursors. The surface chemistry of FC film deposited in this region is compared with film deposited in the region exposed to direct ion bombardment. For films deposited in the exposed region, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis shows that CF2 is the dominant chemical bond for pure C4F8 in both ICP and CCP systems. For C4F8/Ar discharges, C–C bonding is dominant for the polymer formed in the ICP system, whereas CF2 species are dominant for films deposited in the CCP system. In the completely shadowed region, CF2 bonding is dominant for FC films deposited using C4F8 and C4F8/Ar discharges produced in both ICP and CCP systems. The film thickness and F/C ratios of fluorocarbon films formed in the small gap structure using C4F6 and C4F8 ICP discharges were also compared. Effects of Ar addition, gap height, and bias volt- - age on surface conditions of fluorocarbon deposition were studied. In addition, a simple model based on Knudsen diffusion was developed to describe the film thickness profile in the completely shadowed region. View full abstract»

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  • Control of dissociation by varying oxygen pressure in noble gas admixtures for plasma processing

    Page(s): 643 - 650
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    The electron density, electron temperature, and atomic oxygen density are measured in mixtures of oxygen and noble gas discharges as a function of the input power and the oxygen partial pressure. The atomic oxygen density is measured by both actinometry and appearance mass spectrometry and plasma density and electron temperature are monitored with Langmuir probes. The background noble gas determines the electron density and temperature as long as the partial pressure of oxygen remains small. The dissociated atomic neutral oxygen density is highest in O2/Xe mixtures and lowest in O2/He mixtures, increases with electron density, and decreases with electron temperature. Estimates of the dominant source and sink rates of atomic oxygen are used to explain these results using a simple zero-dimensional dissociation kinetics and transport model. The use of noble gas/oxygen mixtures allows for a larger range of atomic oxygen density and ion density than in pure oxygen plasmas, and also allows for independent control of the ion density and the atomic oxygen density. View full abstract»

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  • Dual radio-frequency discharges: Effective frequency concept and effective frequency transition

    Page(s): 651 - 657
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    A concept of effective frequency is introduced to study dual-frequency (DF) capacitively coupled plasmas (CCP) which can be analyzed in a fashion similar to single-frequency (SF) CCP driven with effective parameters. Effective frequencies can be defined quantitatively for ion bombardment energy distribution functions and rf discharge parameters by analyzing ion dynamics in ion-collisionless dual rf sheaths and a homogeneous plasma model for dual rf discharges, respectively. Unlike the driving frequency in SF CCP, the effective frequency in DF CCP is dependent on the ratio of two driving voltages or currents. This characteristic makes it possible to control the ion flux and ion bombardment energy independently. The abrupt transition of the effective frequency leads to several physical phenomena unique in DF CCP. View full abstract»

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  • Effect of plating current density and annealing on impurities in electroplated Cu film

    Page(s): 658 - 662
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    This study uses secondary-ion-mass spectrometry to examine the effects of plating current density and annealing temperature on the nature of electroplated copper (Cu) films. The experimental results reveal that high levels of impurities, such as C, O, S, and Cl, are incorporated into Cu deposits at the lower current density region while superfilling occurs. The C and O impurities can be released from the plated films by thermal annealing, while S and Cl cannot. This work proposes a possible mechanism based on bond strength to explain the phenomena. Rapid C and O desorption is observed when the films are first cycled to 220 °C immediately after electroplating. The activation energy of C desorption is found to be approximately 9.8 kJ/mol. For Cu electroplating, this investigation suggests that high plating current density and an adequate annealing temperature are required to reduce impurities. View full abstract»

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  • Study of optical recording bits by scanning surface potential microscopy

    Page(s): 663 - 665
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    We demonstrate a convenient method for the determination of recording bits in phase-change media based on scanning surface potential microscopy using a conductive tip. Commercially available digital versatile disks (DVDrewritable (RW) with initialization process are measured in experiments. The minimum size of the recording bits of DVD+RW, written by a commercial recorder, is around 425.22 nm. The mean work function (WF) value of the recording layer is found to be 4.27 eV from the contact potential difference images. After writing by a read/write disk tester, the mean WF value of the amorphous bits has a drop of 15.46 meV. The results indicate that surface electronic energy of recorded regions is raised due to the writing process. View full abstract»

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  • Surface modification of silicon-containing fluorocarbon films prepared by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition

    Page(s): 666 - 670
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    Surface modification of silicon-containing fluorocarbon (SiCF) films achieved by wet chemical treatments and through x-ray irradiation is examined. The SiCF films were prepared by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, using gas precursors of tetrafluoromethane and disilane. As-deposited SiCF film composition was analyzed by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Surface modification of SiCF films utilizing n-lithiodiaminoethane wet chemical treatment is discussed. Sessile water-drop contact angle changed from 95°±2° before treatment to 32°±2° after treatment, indicating a change in the film surface characteristics from hydrophobic to hydrophilic. For x-ray irradiation on the SiCF film with a dose of 27.4 kJ/cm3, the contact angle of the sessile water drop changed from 95°±2° before radiation to 39°±3° after x-ray exposure. The effect of x-ray exposure on chemical bond structure of SiCF films is studied using Fourier transform infrared measurements. Electroless Cu deposition was performed to test the applicability of the surface modified films. The x-ray irradiation method offers a unique advantage in making possible surface modification in a localized area of high-aspect-ratio microstructures. Fabrication of a Ti-membrane x-ray mask is introduced here for selective surface modification using x-ray irradiation. View full abstract»

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  • High-energy ions and atoms sputtered and reflected from a magnetron source for deposition of magnetic thin films

    Page(s): 671 - 675
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    In the magnetron sputtering process, moderate bombardment of particles on a substrate gives favorable effects on the deposited films, while excessive bombardment at high energies may cause film damage and surface roughness. To make these influences clear, high-energy ions and neutrals are comprehensively measured by a mass spectrometer with an energy analyzer in the case of magnetron sputtering of a Permalloy™ target (80% Ni/20% Fe). Ni atoms sputtered from the target by a dc magnetron discharge (∼600 V, ≪0.2 A) in argon below 4 Pa have an energy distribution function (EDF) spreading up to ∼8 eV. A similar shape of EDF is also observed for Ni+ ions, which are produced possibly by electron-impact ionization of Ni atoms in gas phase. The EDF of Ar+ ions has a tail of extremely high energies of ∼150 eV. Production of such energetic ions is tentatively explained in terms of resonant charge exchange of energetic Ar atoms reflected from the target after surface neutralization of ∼600 eV Ar+ ions impinging on the target. The existence of energetic Ar atoms is verified by mass spectrometry with an extra-ionizer, and is also supported by a sputtering simulation code (TRIM). View full abstract»

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  • Apparatus for laminar-turbulent transition in gases

    Page(s): 676 - 680
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    The field of fluid mechanics has long held that the transition from laminar to turbulent flow can be sufficiently described using the classical, continuum formulation of the Navier–Stokes equation and dimensionless parameters such as the Reynolds number. Recent theoretical and experimental challenges to the continuum description of this transition have led to controversial claims. To help resolve this debate, we have developed apparatus specifically designed to produce repetitive laminar-turbulent transitions so that the details of the transitions with respect to a variety of parameters can be studied. Since the laminar-turbulent transition is by its nature chaotic, it is desirable to have numerous events—each occurring in rapid succession under essentially identical conditions—for a fuller understanding of this phenomenon. The apparatus and method described here produce these repeated transitions spontaneously by exploiting the fact that for gases the conductance in the turbulent regime is higher than that in the laminar regime. It is accomplished with relatively simple, compact, and readily available equipment. Initial operation of the apparatus has produced data which show interesting and characteristic behavior for several gasses. View full abstract»

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  • Mechanical behavior and oxidation resistance of Cr(Al)N coatings

    Page(s): 681 - 686
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    Nanocrystalline chromium nitride and ternary chromium aluminium nitride thin films were deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering of Cr and Al targets in argon/nitrogen atmosphere varying the sputtering power and gas composition. The coatings were characterized in terms of crystal phase, chemical composition, microstructure, and mechanical properties by x-ray diffraction, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, including x-ray-induced Auger electron spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, selected-area electron diffraction, electron energy-loss spectroscopy, cross-sectional scanning electron microscopy, and ultramicrohardness tester. The incorporation of Al in the composition of the films produces an increase in the mechanical properties (hardness and reduced Young’s modulus) and an increased thermal resistance against oxidation in comparison to the pure CrN composition. The hardness behavior was attributed mainly to a reduction of the CrN crystallite size according to a Hall–Petch relationship. The oxidation resistance was evaluated after annealing both types of coatings in air up to 800 °C. The oxygen content and the crystallite size appear almost unaltered in the CrAlN in contrast to the pure CrN films where the oxidation and grain growth is very noticeable at 800 °C. This improvement in thermal stability in air is explained by the formation of a nanocomposite structure of small CrN crystals embedded in an amorphous aluminum oxide or oxinitride matrix that prevents the CrN phase from crystal growth and further oxidation. View full abstract»

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  • ICP etching of III-nitride based laser structure with Cl2–Ar plasma assisted by Si coverplate material

    Page(s): 687 - 692
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    ICP etching of GaN, Al0.1Ga0.9N, and a laser diode (LD) structure with Cl2Ar plasma assisted by Si coverplate material was systematically studied. The influence of the process pressure, rf and ICP power on the etch rate, surface morphology, and selectivity to the SiO2 mask was investigated. Smooth anisotropic etch profiles and smooth etch surfaces were obtained for a wide range of process parameters. It was found that an ICP plasma source employed in the particular system used does not significantly effect the sheath ion density and cathode dc-bias, due to the remote location of it. However, the ICP source generates a large amount of reactive radicals, which facilitate fast and smooth etching of Al-containing layers. View full abstract»

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  • Structural modifications and corrosion behavior of martensitic stainless steel nitrided by plasma immersion ion implantation

    Page(s): 693 - 698
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    In this work we report a study of the structural modifications and corrosion behavior of martensitic stainless steels (MSS) nitrided by plasma immersion ion implantation (PI3). The samples were characterized by x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, photoemission electron spectroscopy, and potentiodynamic electrochemical measurements. Depending on the PI3 treatment temperature, three different material property trends are observed. At lower implantation temperatures (e.g., 360 °C), the material corrosion resistance is improved and a compact phase of ε-(Fe,Cr)3N, without changes in the crystal morphology, is obtained. At intermediate temperatures (e.g., 430 °C), CrN precipitates form principally at grain boundaries, leading to a degradation in the corrosion resistance compared to the original MSS material. At higher temperatures (e.g., 500 °C), the relatively great mobility of the nitrogen and chromium in the matrix induced random precipitates of CrN, transforming the original martensitic phase into α-Fe (ferrite), and causing a further degradation in the corrosion resistance. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

The Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A is devoted to reports of original research, review articles, and Critical Review articles.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor
G. Lucovsky
North Carolina State University