Radio frequency (RF) biasing induced by a second plasma source at the substrate is applied to low-temperature sputtering processes for indium tin oxide (ITO) and titanium nitride (TiN) thin films. Investigations on crystal structure and surface morphology show that RF-biased substrate plasma processes result in a changed growth regime with different grain sizes and orientations than those produced by processes without a substrate bias. The influence of the RF bias is shown comparatively for reactive RF-sputtered ITO and reactive direct-current-sputtered TiN. The ITO layers exhibit an improved electrical resistivity of 0.5 mΩ cm and an optical absorption coefficient of 0.5 × 104 cm−1 without substrate heating. Room-temperature sputtered TiN layers are deposited that possess a resistivity (0.1 mΩ cm) of 3 orders of magnitude lower than, and a density (5.4 g/cm3) up to 45% greater than, those obtained from layers grown using the standard process without a substrate plasma.

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