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Systematic compositional analysis of sputter-deposited boron-containing thin films
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Thin Film Physics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3083-7536
Uppsala University, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Sweden.
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2021 (English)In: Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. A. Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films, ISSN 0734-2101, E-ISSN 1520-8559, Vol. 39, no 6, article id 063408Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Boron-containing materials exhibit a unique combination of ceramic and metallic properties that are sensitively dependent on their given chemical bonding and elemental compositions. However, determining the composition, let alone bonding, with sufficient accuracy is cumbersome with respect to boron, being a light element that bonds in various coordinations. Here, we report on the comprehensive compositional analysis of transition-metal diboride (TMBx) thin films (TM = Ti, Zr, and Hf) by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDX), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), time-of-flight elastic recoil detection analysis (ToF-ERDA), Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), and nuclear reaction analysis (NRA). The films are grown on Si and C substrates by dc magnetron sputtering from stoichiometric TMB2 targets and have hexagonal AlB2-type columnar structures. EDX considerably overestimates B/TM ratios, x, compared to the other techniques, particularly for ZrBx. The B concentrations obtained by XPS strongly depend on the energy of Ar+ ions used for removing surface oxides and contaminants prior to analyses and are more reliable for 0.5 keV Ar+. ToF-ERDA, RBS, and NRA yield consistent compositions in TiBx. They also prove TiBx and ZrBx films to be homogeneous with comparable B/TM ratios for each film. However, ToF-ERDA, employing a 36-MeV 127I8+ beam, exhibits challenges in depth resolution and quantification of HfBx due to plural and multiple scattering and associated energy loss straggling effects. Compared to ToF-ERDA, RBS (for the film grown on C substrates) and NRA provide more reliable B/Hf ratios. Overall, a combination of methods is recommended for accurately pinpointing the compositions of borides that contain heavy transition metals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Vacuum Society , 2021. Vol. 39, no 6, article id 063408
National Category
Materials Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-180132DOI: 10.1116/6.0001234ISI: 000702239400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-180132DiVA, id: diva2:1601325
Note

Funding agencies: The SwedishResearch Council VR (Grant Nos. 2021-00357, 2018-03957, and642-2013-8020); the Knut and Alice Wallenberg (KAW) Foundation for project funding (No. KAW 2015.0043), the Swedish Energy Agency under Project No. 51201-1, Carl Tryggers Stiftelse (Contract Nos. CTS 15:219, CTS 20:150, and CTS 14:431); the Swedish Government Strategic Research Area in Materials Science on Functional Materials at Linköping University (Faculty Grant SFO Mat LiU No. 2009 00971), the Swedish Research Council VRRFI (No. 2017-00646_9) for supporting the Accelerator based ion technology center; the Swedish Foundation for StrategicResearch (Contract No. RIF14-0053)

Available from: 2021-10-07 Created: 2021-10-07 Last updated: 2021-12-28Bibliographically approved

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Bakhit, BabakRosén, JohannaHultman, LarsPetrov, IvanGreczynski, Grzegorz

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