Effect of sputtering target power on microstructure and mechanical properties of nanocomposite nc-TiN/a-SiNx thin films

Sam Zhang, Deen Sun, Yong Qing Fu, Hejun Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Nanocrystalline TiN has been imbedded in amorphous silicon nitride matrix to form a super hard nanocomposite thin film (nc-TiN/a-SiNx) via magnetron sputtering. Adjusting Ti and Si3N4 target power ratio altered film composition, size, amount and distribution of the nc-TiN phase. At a Ti target power density of 5.5 W cm−2, the Ti to Si3N4 target power ratio should be greater than unity in order for nc-TiN to form, otherwise, Ti will dissolve in amorphous SiNx. The relationship between the film hardness and the crystallite size show Hall–Petch and anti-Hall–Petch relationship. A ‘scratch crack propagation resistance’ parameter, or CPRs=Lc1(Lc2−Lc1), has been proposed to approximate thin film toughness from the critical load data easily obtained from a scratch adhesion test.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-467
JournalThin Solid Films
Volume447-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2004

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of sputtering target power on microstructure and mechanical properties of nanocomposite nc-TiN/a-SiNx thin films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this