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Initial growth stage of nanoscaled TiN films: Formation of continuous amorphous layers and thickness-dependent crystal nucleation.

By Tu-Qiang Li, Suguru Noda, Hiroshi Komiyama, Takahisa Yamamoto and Yuichi Ikuhara


The initial growth stage of titanium nitride (TiN) deposited by reactive magnetron dc sputtering onto (111)-oriented Si substrates was investigated by using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). During the initial growth stage, a continuous amorphous layer was observed when the deposited film was less than 1 nm thick. Crystal nucleation occurred from the amorphous layer when the film grew to about 2 nm thick. No preferred orientation was found for the initial crystal nuclei. The growth of the crystal grains depended on the N/sub 2/ partial pressure, P/sub N2/. Increasing P/sub N2/ from 0.047 to 0.47 Pa enhanced lateral grain growth and coalescence between grains. For P/sub N2/=0.47 Pa, planar grains with a large lateral dimension were found formed by grain growth and coalescence, inducing a (200) film orientation. For films formed at P/sub N2/=0.47 Pa, an amorphous interlayer 1.5-1.8 nm thick formed between the TiN layer and Si substrate, and was indicated to be primarily SiN/sub x/ by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and HRTEM. This interlayer was less than 0.5 nm thick in films formed at P/sub N2/=0.047 P

Topics: Titanium nitride, Magnetron sputtering, Silicon, Partial pressure, Crystals, Crystal growth, Amorphous materials, 431.86
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
Year: 2003
OAI identifier:
Provided by: UT Repository

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