Investigation of the physical properties of ion assisted ZrN thin films deposited by RF magnetron sputtering

M.A. Signore, D. Valerini, A. Rizzo, L. Tapfer, L. Capodieci, A. Cappello

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Ion bombardment during thin film growth is known to cause structural and morphological changes in the deposited films, thus affecting their physical properties. In this work zirconium nitride films have been deposited by the ion assisted magnetron sputtering technique. The ion energy is controlled by varying the voltage applied to the substrate in the range 0-25 V. The deposited ZrN films are characterized for their structure, surface roughness, oxygen contamination, optical reflectance and electrical resistivity. With increasing substrate voltage crystallinity of the films is enhanced with a preferential orientation of the ZrN grains having the (1 1 1) axis perpendicular to the substrate surface. At the same time, a decrease in electrical resistivity and oxygen contamination content is observed up to 20 V. A higher substrate voltage (25 V) causes an inversion in the observed experimental trends. The role of oxygen contamination decrease and generation of nitrogen vacancies due to ionic assistance have been considered as a possible explanation for the experimental results. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article number225401
Pages (from-to)-
JournalJournal Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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