Growth and in-situ electrical characterization of ultrathin epitaxial TiN films on MgO

F. Magnus*, A. S. Ingason, S. Olafsson, J. T. Gudmundsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


We examine the properties of ultrathin TiN films grown by reactive dc magnetron sputtering on single-crystalline MgO(100) substrates at growth temperatures ranging from 30 to 650 °C. The resistance of the films is measured in-situ, during growth, to study the thickness at which the films coalesce and become structurally continuous. Both the in-situ resistance measurements and X-ray diffraction measurements show a clear transition from polycrystalline growth to epitaxial (100) growth well below typical TiN growth temperatures, or between 100 and 200 °C. The coalescence and continuity thicknesses are 1.09 ± 0.06 nm and 5.5 ± 0.5 nm, respectively, at room temperature but reach a minimum of 0.08 ± 0.02 nm and 0.7 ± 0.1 nm, respectively, at 600 °C. A large drop in resistivity is seen with increasing growth temperature and the resistivity reaches 16.6 μΩ cm at 600 °C. Achieving epitaxy at such a low temperature and a low continuity thickness is important in a variety of applications such as device interconnects and metal-oxide-semiconductor devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5861-5867
Number of pages7
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Björn Agnarsson and Jennifer Halldorsson for their help with the SEM. This work was partially funded by the Icelandic Research Fund , contract no. 072105003 and the University of Iceland Research Fund . ASI acknowledges the support of the Steinmaur Foundation, Lichtenstein .

Other keywords

  • In-situ resistivity
  • Magnetron sputtering
  • Thin film
  • Titanium nitride


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