Moisture and O2 levels present during the reactive sputtering deposition of TiN have a marked impact on measured contact resistance. Results of an angular resolved x‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) study of sputter deposited TiN as well as Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) show that oxynitrides are the predominant surface species on TiN. Two distinct oxynitride phases with different oxygen contents have been observed on TiN and the relative abundance of each phase appears to be a function of H2O and oxygen levels present during reactive sputtering.

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