Water as reactive gas to prepare titanium oxynitride thin films by reactive sputtering

Jean-Marie Chappé, Nicolas Martin, Guy Terwagne, Jan Lintymer, Joseph Gavoille, Jamal Takadoum

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    Thin films of titanium oxynitride were successfully prepared by dc reactive magnetron sputtering using a titanium metallic target, argon, nitrogen and water vapour as reactive gases. The nitrogen partial pressure was kept constant during every deposition whereas that of the water vapour was systematically changed from 0 to 0.1 Pa. The evolution of the deposition rate with an increasing amount of water vapour injected into the process was correlated with the target poisoning phenomenon estimated from the target potential. Structure and morphology of the films were analysed by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Films were poorly crystallised or amorphous with a typical columnar microstructure. Nitrogen, oxygen and titanium concentrations were determined by Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy and nuclear reaction analysis, and the amount of hydrogen in the films was also quantified. Optical transmittance in the visible region and electrical conductivity measured against temperature were gradually modified from metallic to semiconducting behaviour with an increasing supply of the water vapour partial pressure. Moreover, an interesting maximum of the electrical conductivity was observed in this transition, for a small amount of water vapour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)66-73
    Number of pages8
    JournalThin Solid Fims
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    • Reactive sputtering
    • Titanium oxynitride
    • Water vapour


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