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Metal versus rare-gas ion irradiation during Ti1-xAlxN film growth by hybrid high power pulsed magnetron/dc magnetron co-sputtering using synchronized pulsed substrate bias
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4898-5115
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. A. Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films, ISSN 0734-2101, E-ISSN 1520-8559, Vol. 30, no 6Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Metastable NaCl-structure Ti1-xAlxN is employed as a model system to probe the effects of metal versus rare-gas ion irradiation during film growth using reactive high-power pulsed magnetron sputtering (HIPIMS) of Al and dc magnetron sputtering of Ti. The alloy film composition is chosen to be x = 0.61, near the kinetic solubility limit at the growth temperature of 500 degrees C. Three sets of experiments are carried out: a -60V substrate bias is applied either continuously, in synchronous with the full HIPIMS pulse, or in synchronous only with the metal-rich-plasma portion of the HIPIMS pulse. Alloy films grown under continuous dc bias exhibit a thickness-invariant small-grain, two-phase nanostructure (wurtzite AlN and cubic Ti1-xAlxN) with random orientation, due primarily to intense Ar+ irradiation leading to Ar incorporation (0.2 at. %), high compressive stress (-4.6 GPa), and material loss by resputtering. Synchronizing the bias with the full HIPIMS pulse results in films that exhibit much lower stress levels (-1.8GPa) with no measureable Ar incorporation, larger grains elongated in the growth direction, a very small volume fraction of wurtzite AlN, and random orientation. By synchronizing the bias with the metal-plasma phase of the HIPIMS pulses, energetic Ar+ ion bombardment is greatly reduced in favor of irradiation predominantly by Al+ ions. The resulting films are single phase with a dense competitive columnar structure, strong 111 orientation, no measureable trapped Ar concentration, and even lower stress (-0.9 GPa). Thus, switching from Ar+ to Al+ bombardment, while maintaining the same integrated incident ion/metal ratio, eliminates phase separation, minimizes renucleation during growth, and reduces the high concentration of residual point defects, which give rise to compressive stress.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Vacuum Society , 2012. Vol. 30, no 6
Keyword [en]
aluminium compounds, compressive strength, ion beam effects, nanofabrication, nanostructured materials, nucleation, solubility, sputter deposition, thin films, titanium compounds
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88465DOI: 10.1116/1.4750485ISI: 000311458500019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-88465DiVA: diva2:604048
Note

Funding Agencies|Swedish VINN Excellence Center on Functional Nanoscale Materials (FunMat)||

Available from: 2013-02-07 Created: 2013-02-07 Last updated: 2017-12-06

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Greczynski, GrzegorzLu, JunJensen, JensPetrov, IvanGreene, Joseph E.Hultman, Lars
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