Heteroepitaxial c-(Ti0.37,Al0.63)N thin films were grown on MgO(001) and MgO(111) substrates using reactive magnetron sputtering. High resolution high-angle annular dark-field scanning transmission electron micrographs show coherency between the film and the substrate. In the as-deposited state, x-ray diffraction reciprocal space maps show a strained epitaxial film. Corresponding geometric phase analysis (GPA) deformation maps show a high stress in the film. At elevated temperature (900 °C), the films decompose to form iso-structural coherent c-AlN- and c-TiN-rich domains, elongated along the elastically soft <100> directions. GPA analysis reveals that the c-TiN domains accommodate more dislocations than the c-AlN domains. This is because of the stronger directionality of the covalent bonds in c-AlN compared with c-TiN, making it more favorable for the dislocations to accumulate in c-TiN. The defect structure and strain generation in c-(Ti,Al)N during spinodal decomposition is affected by the chemical bonding state and elastic properties of the segregated domains.
Dislocation structure and microstrain evolution during spinodal decomposition of reactive magnetron sputtered heteroepixatial c-(Ti0.37,Al0.63)N/c-TiN films grown on MgO(001) and (111) substrates
K. M. Calamba, J. F. Pierson, S. Bruyère, A. L. Febvrier, P. Eklund, J. Barrirero, F. Mücklich, R. Boyd, M. P. Johansson Jõesaar, M. Odén; Dislocation structure and microstrain evolution during spinodal decomposition of reactive magnetron sputtered heteroepixatial c-(Ti0.37,Al0.63)N/c-TiN films grown on MgO(001) and (111) substrates. J. Appl. Phys. 14 March 2019; 125 (10): 105301. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5051609
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