Template-induced crystallization of amorphous SiO2 and its effects on the mechanical properties of TiN/SiO2 nanomultilayers

Wei, Lun; Mei, Fanghua; Shao, Nan; Kong, Ming; Li, Geyang; Li, Jianguo
January 2005
Applied Physics Letters;1/10/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 2, p021919
Academic Journal
TiN/SiO2 nanomultilayers with various thicknesses of the SiO2 layer have been prepared by multi-target magnetron sputtering. Studies show that amorphous SiO2, which is more favorable under sputtering condition, crystallizes at smaller layer thickness (0.45–0.9 nm) due to the template effect of TiN layers. Correspondingly, multilayers exhibit coherent epitaxial growth with intensive (111) texture, and show significant hardness enhancement with maximum hardness of 44.5 GPa. Further increase in the SiO2 layer thickness (>=1 nm) leads to the formation of amorphous SiO2 which blocks the coherent growth of the films, and thus decreases the multilayer hardness gradually.


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