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Title: Stress evolution in magnetron sputtered Ti–Zr–N and Ti–Ta–N films studied by in situ wafer curvature: role of energetic particles
Authors: Abadias, Gregory
Guerin, Philippe
Koutsokeras, Loukas E. 
Keywords: Materials science
Sputtering (Physics)
Titanium compounds
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Thin solid films, 2009, Volume 518, Issue 5, Pages 1532–1537
Abstract: Stress evolution during reactive magnetron sputtering of binary TiN, ZrN and TaN thin films as well as ternary Ti–Zr–N and Ti–Ta–N solid-solutions was studied using real-time wafer curvature measurements. The energy of the incoming particles (sputtered atoms, backscattered Ar, ions) was tuned by changing either the metal target (MTi = 47.9, MZr = 91.2 and MTa = 180.9 g/mol), the plasma conditions (effect of pressure, substrate bias or magnetron configuration) for a given target or by combining different metal targets during co-sputtering. Experimental results were discussed using the average energy of the incoming species, as calculated using Monte-Carlo simulations (SRIM code). In the early stage of growth, a rapid evolution to compressive stress states is noticed for all films. A reversal towards tensile stress is observed with increasing thickness at low energetic deposition conditions, revealing the presence of stress gradients. The tensile stress is ascribed to the development of a ‘zone T’ columnar growth with intercolumnar voids and rough surface. At higher energetic deposition conditions, the atomic peening mechanism is predominant: the stress remains largely compressive and dense films with more globular microstructure and smooth surface are obtained
ISSN: 00406090
DOI: 10.1016/j.tsf.2009.07.183
Rights: Copyright © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
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