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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 
Koutsokeras, Loukas E. 
Guerin, Philippe 
Patsalas, Panos A. 
Major Field of Science: Engineering and Technology
Field Category: Materials Engineering
Keywords: Materials science;Magnetrons;Tin;Nitrides;Sputtering (Physics);Tanning;Titanium compounds
Issue Date: 2009
Source: Thin Solid Films, 2009, vol. 518, no. 5, pp. 1532–1537
Volume: 518
Issue: 5
Start page: 1532
End page: 1537
Journal: Thin Solid Films 
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: 0040-6090
DOI: 10.1016/j.tsf.2009.07.183
Rights: © Elsevier
Type: Article
Affiliation: University of Ioannina 
Affiliation : Université de Poitiers 
University of Ioannina 
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