skip to main content


Title: Effect of deposition pressure on the microstructure and thermoelectric properties of epitaxial ScN(001) thin films sputtered onto MgO(001) substrates

Four epitaxial ScN(001) thin films were successfully deposited on MgO(001) substrates by dc reactive magnetron sputtering at 2, 5, 10, and 20 mTorr in an Ar/N2 ambient atmosphere at 650 °C. The microstructure of the resultant films was analyzed by x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Electrical resistivity, electron mobility and concentration were measured using the room temperature Hall technique, and temperature dependent in-plain measurements of the thermoelectric properties of the ScN thin films were performed. The surface morphology and film crystallinity significantly degrade with increasing deposition pressure. The ScN thin film deposited at 20 mTorr exhibits the presence of <221> oriented secondary grains resulting in decreased electric properties and a low thermoelectric power factor of 0.5 W/m-K² at 800 K. ScN thin films grown at 5 and 10 mTorr are single crystalline, yielding the power factor of approximately 2.5 W/m-K² at 800 K. The deposition performed at 2 mTorr produces the highest quality ScN thin film with the electron mobility of 98 cm² V⁻¹ s⁻¹ and the power factor of 3.3 W/m-K² at 800 K.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1]
  1. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
  2. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  3. Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)
  4. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0884-2914; KC040302
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Materials Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 0884-2914
Materials Research Society
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: