Sputtering deposition and characterization of zirconium nitride and oxynitride films

A. Rizzo, M.A. Signore, L. Mirenghi, L. Tapfer, E. Piscopiello, E. Salernitano, R. Giorgi

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The interest about zirconium oxynitrides is growing with the attention for zirconium nitrides phase at high zirconium content. In recent years a great progress has been made to realize both the higher nitride phase (Zr3N4) and the higher oxynitride phase (Zr2ON2) in more ordered crystal structures. In this work the abovementioned two phases are realized by RF magnetron sputtering technique. The characterization results, illustrated in the present paper, push towards the evidence of an evolution from zirconium N-rich nitride to the oxynitride films by introducing a very small percentage (0.5%) of water vapor in a sputtering atmosphere made only of nitrogen gas. In particular, structural analysis identified zirconium N-rich nitride as c-Zr3N4and zirconium oxynitride as c-Zr2ON2. The formation of zirconium oxynitride is due to oxygen presence, coming from the water dissociation in the plasma. Both phases request an additional energy supplied by substrate bias assistance for c-Zr3N4and by more energetic particles reflected by the Zr target for c-Zr2ON2. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3532 - 3538
Number of pages7
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Rizzo, A., Signore, M. A., Mirenghi, L., Tapfer, L., Piscopiello, E., Salernitano, E., & Giorgi, R. (2012). Sputtering deposition and characterization of zirconium nitride and oxynitride films. Thin Solid Films, 520(9), 3532 - 3538. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tsf.2012.01.005