Thermal stability of arc evaporated high aluminum-content Ti1−xAlxN thin films
2002 (English)In: Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. A. Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films, ISSN 0734-2101, E-ISSN 1520-8559, Vol. 20, no 5, 1815-1823 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The thermal stability of Ti1−xAlxN films deposited by arc evaporation from Ti–Al cathodes with 67 and 75 at. % aluminum, respectively, has been investigated. The microstructure of as-deposited and isothermally annealed samples were studied using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and x-ray diffraction. The chemical composition and elemental distribution were determined by energy dispersive x ray (EDX), Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, and EDX mapping. Transmission electron micrographs revealed a dense and columnar microstructure in the as-deposited condition. Films deposited from the 67 at. % cathodes were of cubic NaCl-structure phase, whereas films deposited from the 75 at. % cathodes exhibited nanocrystallites of wurzite-structure hexagonal-phase AlN in a cubic (c)-(Ti,Al)N matrix. Both films were stable during annealing at 900 °C/120 min with respect to phase composition and grain size. Annealing at 1100 °C of films deposited from the 67 at. % cathodes resulted in phase separation of c-TiN and h-AlN, via spinodal decomposition of c-TiN and c-AlN. (Ti,Al)N films undergo extensive stress relaxation and defect annihilation at relatively high temperatures, and aspects of these microstructural transformations are discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. Vol. 20, no 5, 1815-1823 p.
National CategoryCondensed Matter Physics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-18801DOI: 10.1116/1.1503784OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-18801DiVA: diva2:221708