Effect of Sputtering Target Power on Preferred Orientation in nc-TiN/a-SiNx Nanocomposite Thin Films
Nanocrystalline TiN (or nc-TiN) has been imbedded in amorphous silicon nitride (a-SiNx)matrix to form a nanocomposite thin film (nc-TiN/a-SiNx) via magnetron sputtering deposition on silicon wafer. Two important effects of the Si3N4 sputtering target power on the formation of nc-TiN/a-SiNx have been studied: (1) Aside from forming a-SiNx in the matrix, Si atoms also imbed into TiN to form (Ti,Si)N solid solution crystallites. At low target power, the solid solution is substitutional. With increase of power, the amount of silicon “dissolved” in the TiN crystallite increases, and in the meantime, the interstitial components increase which is manifested in the increase in the TiN lattice parameter. (2) The crystallites have a preferred orientation varying with the deposition target power. As conveniently described by the coefficient of texture, the degree of preferred orientation along  direction decreases and finally tails off with increase of power. At the same time, the crystallites orient along  and  direction and eventually  direction dominants.
M. Gupta and Christina Y.H. Lim
S. Zhang et al., "Effect of Sputtering Target Power on Preferred Orientation in nc-TiN/a-SiNx Nanocomposite Thin Films", Journal of Metastable and Nanocrystalline Materials, Vol. 23, pp. 175-178, 2005