Low-temperature CVD of iron, cobalt, and nickel nitride thin films from bis[di(tert -butyl)amido]metal(II) precursors and ammonia

Andrew N. Cloud, Luke M. Davis, Gregory S. Girolami, John R. Abelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thin films of late transition metal nitrides (where the metal is iron, cobalt, or nickel) are grown by low-pressure metalorganic chemical vapor deposition from bis[di(tert-butyl)amido]metal(II) precursors and ammonia. These metal nitrides are known to have useful mechanical and magnetic properties, but there are few thin film growth techniques to produce them based on a single precursor family. The authors report the deposition of metal nitride thin films below 300 C from three recently synthesized M[N(t-Bu)2]2 precursors, where M = Fe, Co, and Ni, with growth onset as low as room temperature. Metal-rich phases are obtained with constant nitrogen content from growth onset to 200 C over a range of feedstock partial pressures. Carbon contamination in the films is minimal for iron and cobalt nitride, but similar to the nitrogen concentration for nickel nitride. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy indicates that the incorporated nitrogen is present as metal nitride, even for films grown at the reaction onset temperature. Deposition rates of up to 18 nm/min are observed. The film morphologies, growth rates, and compositions are consistent with a gas-phase transamination reaction that produces precursor species with high sticking coefficients and low surface mobilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number020606
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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