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Title: Influence of high power impulse magnetron sputtering plasma ionization on the microstructure of TiN thin films

Abstract

HIPIMS (High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering) discharge is a new PVD technology for the deposition of high-quality thin films. The deposition flux contains a high degree of metal ionization and nitrogen dissociation. The microstructure of HIPIMS-deposited nitride films is denser compared to conventional sputter technologies. However, the mechanisms acting on the microstructure, texture and properties have not been discussed in detail so far. In this study, the growth of TiN by HIPIMS of Ti in mixed Ar and N{sub 2} atmosphere has been investigated. Varying degrees of metal ionization and nitrogen dissociation were produced by increasing the peak discharge current (I{sub d}) from 5 to 30 A. The average power was maintained constant by adjusting the frequency. Mass spectrometry measurements of the deposition flux revealed a high content of ionized film-forming species, such as Ti{sup 1+}, Ti{sup 2+} and atomic nitrogen N{sup 1+}. Ti{sup 1+} ions with energies up to 50 eV were detected during the pulse with reducing energy in the pulse-off times. Langmuir probe measurements showed that the peak plasma density during the pulse was 3 x 10{sup 16} m{sup -3}. Plasma density, and ion flux ratios of N{sup 1+}: N{sub 2}{sup 1+} and Ti{sup 1+}: Ti{sup 0}more » increased linearly with peak current. The ratios exceeded 1 at 30 A. TiN films deposited by HIPIMS were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy. At high I{sub d}, N{sup 1+}: N{sub 2}{sup 1+} > 1 and Ti{sup 1+}: Ti{sup 0} > 1 were produced; a strong 002 texture was present and column boundaries in the films were atomically tight. As I{sub d} reduced and N{sup 1+}: N{sub 2}{sup 1+} and Ti{sup 1+}: Ti{sup 0} dropped below 1, the film texture switched to strong 111 with a dense structure. At very low I{sub d}, porosity between columns developed. The effects of the significant activation of the deposition flux observed in the HIPIMS discharge on the film texture, microstructure, morphology and properties are discussed.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]; ; ;  [3]
  1. Nanotechnology Centre for PVD Research, Materials and Engineering Institute, Sheffield Hallam University, Howard Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB (United Kingdom)
  2. Plasma and Surface Division, Hiden Analytical Ltd., 420 Europa Boulevard, Warrington, WA5 7UN (United Kingdom)
  3. Research Institute for Technical Physics and Materials Science, H-1525 Budapest, P.O. Box 49 (Hungary)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21560271
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 109; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.3579443; (c) 2011 American Institute of Physics; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; DISSOCIATION; IONIZATION; LANGMUIR PROBE; MAGNETRONS; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; MICROSTRUCTURE; NITROGEN; PHYSICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION; PLASMA DENSITY; POROSITY; SPUTTERING; THIN FILMS; TITANIUM IONS; TITANIUM NITRIDES; TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; X-RAY DIFFRACTION; CHARGED PARTICLES; COHERENT SCATTERING; DEPOSITION; DIFFRACTION; ELECTRIC PROBES; ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; ELECTRON TUBES; ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT; ELEMENTS; EQUIPMENT; FILMS; IONS; MICROSCOPY; MICROWAVE EQUIPMENT; MICROWAVE TUBES; NITRIDES; NITROGEN COMPOUNDS; NONMETALS; PNICTIDES; PROBES; SCATTERING; SPECTROSCOPY; SURFACE COATING; TITANIUM COMPOUNDS; TRANSITION ELEMENT COMPOUNDS

Citation Formats

Ehiasarian, A P, Vetushka, A, Gonzalvo, Y Aranda, Safran, G, Szekely, L, and Barna, P B. Influence of high power impulse magnetron sputtering plasma ionization on the microstructure of TiN thin films. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.1063/1.3579443.
Ehiasarian, A P, Vetushka, A, Gonzalvo, Y Aranda, Safran, G, Szekely, L, & Barna, P B. Influence of high power impulse magnetron sputtering plasma ionization on the microstructure of TiN thin films. United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3579443
Ehiasarian, A P, Vetushka, A, Gonzalvo, Y Aranda, Safran, G, Szekely, L, and Barna, P B. Sun . "Influence of high power impulse magnetron sputtering plasma ionization on the microstructure of TiN thin films". United States. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3579443.
@article{osti_21560271,
title = {Influence of high power impulse magnetron sputtering plasma ionization on the microstructure of TiN thin films},
author = {Ehiasarian, A P and Vetushka, A and Gonzalvo, Y Aranda and Safran, G and Szekely, L and Barna, P B},
abstractNote = {HIPIMS (High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering) discharge is a new PVD technology for the deposition of high-quality thin films. The deposition flux contains a high degree of metal ionization and nitrogen dissociation. The microstructure of HIPIMS-deposited nitride films is denser compared to conventional sputter technologies. However, the mechanisms acting on the microstructure, texture and properties have not been discussed in detail so far. In this study, the growth of TiN by HIPIMS of Ti in mixed Ar and N{sub 2} atmosphere has been investigated. Varying degrees of metal ionization and nitrogen dissociation were produced by increasing the peak discharge current (I{sub d}) from 5 to 30 A. The average power was maintained constant by adjusting the frequency. Mass spectrometry measurements of the deposition flux revealed a high content of ionized film-forming species, such as Ti{sup 1+}, Ti{sup 2+} and atomic nitrogen N{sup 1+}. Ti{sup 1+} ions with energies up to 50 eV were detected during the pulse with reducing energy in the pulse-off times. Langmuir probe measurements showed that the peak plasma density during the pulse was 3 x 10{sup 16} m{sup -3}. Plasma density, and ion flux ratios of N{sup 1+}: N{sub 2}{sup 1+} and Ti{sup 1+}: Ti{sup 0} increased linearly with peak current. The ratios exceeded 1 at 30 A. TiN films deposited by HIPIMS were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy. At high I{sub d}, N{sup 1+}: N{sub 2}{sup 1+} > 1 and Ti{sup 1+}: Ti{sup 0} > 1 were produced; a strong 002 texture was present and column boundaries in the films were atomically tight. As I{sub d} reduced and N{sup 1+}: N{sub 2}{sup 1+} and Ti{sup 1+}: Ti{sup 0} dropped below 1, the film texture switched to strong 111 with a dense structure. At very low I{sub d}, porosity between columns developed. The effects of the significant activation of the deposition flux observed in the HIPIMS discharge on the film texture, microstructure, morphology and properties are discussed.},
doi = {10.1063/1.3579443},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/21560271}, journal = {Journal of Applied Physics},
issn = {0021-8979},
number = 10,
volume = 109,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {5}
}