TEM and AFM studies of aluminium nitride films synthesized by pulsed laser deposition

Zs Fogarassy, P. Petrik, L. Duta, I. N. Mihailescu, M. Anastasescu, M. Gartner, K. Antonova, A. Szekeres

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Aluminium nitride (AlN) films were synthesized by pulsed laser ablation of poly-AlN target on Si(100) substrates using a KrF* excimer laser source (λ = 248 nm, τFWHM ≤ 25 ns), with incidence laser fluence of ~ 3 J/cm2 and laser pulse repetition frequencies (LPF) of 3, 10 and 40 Hz, respectively. The depositions were performed in nitrogen pressure of 0.1 Pa and at substrate temperatures of 450 and 800 °C. The AlN structures were studied by transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), Fourier transform infrared reflectance (FTIR) spectroscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) measurements. The results show that at 450 °C and LPF of 3 Hz the AlN film is entirely amorphous, while at LPF of 10 and 40 Hz nanocrystallites with h-AlN phase appear in the grown films. At 800 °C, well-textured h-AlN nanocrystallites with columnar grains are formed. Growth of nanocrystallites in the 450 °C AlN films, similar to films grown at 800 °C, is possible when the films are deposited onto a high-temperature AlN “seed” layer, as they follow the columnar structure but with small-sized crystallites and a weaker texturing. AFM imaging reveals increasing surface roughness with the degree of crystallinity in the synthesized films. The structural changes are well correlated with the variation in the optical parameters registered by FTIR and SE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number756
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - dec. 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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    Fogarassy, Z., Petrik, P., Duta, L., Mihailescu, I. N., Anastasescu, M., Gartner, M., Antonova, K., & Szekeres, A. (2017). TEM and AFM studies of aluminium nitride films synthesized by pulsed laser deposition. Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing, 123(12), [756]. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00339-017-1296-4