Properties of (Nb-0.35, Ti-0.15)(x)Ni1-x thin films deposited on silicon wafers at ambient substrate temperature

N. N. Iosad, A. V. Mijiritskii, V. V. Roddatis, B. D. Jackson, J. R. Gao, S. N. Polyakov, P. N. Dmitriev, T. M. Klapwijk, N.M. van der Pers

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    We have studied the properties of (Nb0.35, Ti0.15)xN1−x films deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering at ambient substrate temperature, focusing in particular on the dependence of film properties on the total sputtering pressure. As the pressure increases we observe a transition in the film structure from the ZT to the Z1 structural zone according to the Thornton classification. In general, the superconducting transition temperature (Tc) and residual resistance ratio have a very moderate dependence on total sputtering pressure, while the film resistivity increases an order of magnitude as the sputtering pressure increases. A wide spectrum of material science techniques is used to characterize the films and to explain the relationship between the sputtering conditions and film properties. Transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction analysis show that 160-nm-thick (Nb0.35, Ti0.15)xN1−x films consist of 20–40 nm grains with good crystallinity. Films sputtered under low pressures have a weak [100] texture, while films sputtered under high pressures have a distinct [111] texture. A stable chemical composition and reduction in film density as the sputtering pressure increases indicate that the change of resistivity in the ZT structural zone is due to a variation in the quenched-in vacancy concentration. In contrast voids on the grain boundaries and vacancies together produce the high film resistivities in the Z1 structural zone.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numberPII [S0021-8979(00)02723-7]
    Pages (from-to)5756 - 5759
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Applied Physics
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 15-Nov-2000


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