Effects of high-flux low-energy ion bombardment on the low-temperature growth morphology of TiN(001) epitaxial layers

Brian W. Karr, David G. Cahill, I. Petrov, J. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) is used to characterize the surface morphology of TiN(001) epitaxial layers grown by dc reactive magnetron sputtering at growth temperatures of Ts=650 and Ts=750°C. An auxiliary anode is used to bias the N2 plasma and produce a large flux of low-energy N2+ ions that bombard the film surface during growth: the ratio of the N2+ flux to the Ti growth flux is ≈25. At ion energies Ei near the threshold for the production of bulk defects (Ei=43 eV and Ts=650°C), ion bombardment decreases the amplitude of the roughness, decreases the average distance between growth mounds, and reduces the sharpness of grooves between growth mounds. The critical island radius for second layer nucleation Rc is approximately 12 and 17 nm at growth temperatures of 650 and 750°C respectively; at 650°C, Rc is reduced to ≈10 nm by ion bombardment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16137-16143
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume61
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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