Compositional and structural studies of ion-beam modified AlN/TiN multilayers
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This paper reports on compositional and structural modifications induced in coated AlN/TiN multilayers by argon ion irradiation. The initial structure consisting of totally 30 alternate AlN (8 nm thick) and TiN (9.3 nm thick) layers was deposited on Si (100) wafers, by reactive sputtering. Irradiation was done with 180 keV Ar+ to a high dose of 8 x 10(16) ions/cm(2), which introduces up to similar to 10 at.% of argon species, and generates a maximum displacement per atom of 92 for AlN and 127 for TiN, around the projected ion range (109 +/- 34 nm). Characterizations were performed by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, spatially resolved x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The obtained results reveal that this highly immiscible and thermally stable system suffered a severe modification upon the applied ion irradiation, although it was performed at room temperature. They illustrate a thorough inter-layer mixing, atomic redistribution, structural c...hange and phase transformation within the affected depth. The original TiN layers appear to grow in thickness, consuming the adjacent AlN layers, while retaining the fcc crystalline structure. In the mostly affected region, the interaction proceeds until all of the original AlN layers are consumed. Compositional studies with photoemission spectroscopy show that due to the ion irradiation treatment the TiN and AlN layers are transformed into Ti0.75Al0.25N and Ti0.65Al0.35N ternary compounds characterized by a better homogenized chemical form compared to non-irradiated layers. The results can be interesting towards further development of radiation tolerant materials based on immiscible ceramic nanocomposites. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Interlayer / Mixing / SPEM / Radiation tolerant / Phase transformation
Source:Applied Surface Science, 2017, 411, 431-436
- Physical processes in the synthesis of advanced nanostructured materials (RS-171023)
- ERC Advanced Investigator grant [226470 SILAMPS], International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna [CRP 12024]