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Deposition Rate and Energy Enhancements of TiN Thin-Film in a Magnetized Sheet Plasma Source

Authors: Hamdi Muhyuddin D. Barra, Henry J. Ramos


Titanium nitride (TiN) has been synthesized using the sheet plasma negative ion source (SPNIS). The parameters used for its effective synthesis has been determined from previous experiments and studies. In this study, further enhancement of the deposition rate of TiN synthesis and advancement of the SPNIS operation is presented. This is primarily achieved by the addition of Sm-Co permanent magnets and a modification of the configuration in the TiN deposition process. The magnetic enhancement is aimed at optimizing the sputtering rate and the sputtering yield of the process. The Sm-Co permanent magnets are placed below the Ti target for better sputtering by argon. The Ti target is biased from –250V to – 350V and is sputtered by Ar plasma produced at discharge current of 2.5–4A and discharge potential of 60–90V. Steel substrates of dimensions 20x20x0.5mm3 were prepared with N2:Ar volumetric ratios of 1:3, 1:5 and 1:10. Ocular inspection of samples exhibit bright gold color associated with TiN. XRD characterization confirmed the effective TiN synthesis as all samples exhibit the (200) and (311) peaks of TiN and the non-stoichiometric Ti2N (220) facet. Cross-sectional SEM results showed increase in the TiN deposition rate of up to 0.35μm/min. This doubles what was previously obtained [1]. Scanning electron micrograph results give a comparative morphological picture of the samples. Vickers hardness results gave the largest hardness value of 21.094GPa.

Keywords: Chemical vapor deposition, Magnetized sheetplasma, Thin-film synthesis, Titanium nitride.

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