P.M. Mayrhofer, C. Eisenmenger-Sittner, M. Stöger-Pollach, H. Euchner, A. Bittner, U. Schmid:
"The impact of argon admixture on the c-axis oriented growth of direct current magnetron sputtered ScxAl1xN thin films";
Journal of Applied Physics,
The piezoelectric properties of wurtzite aluminium nitride (w-AlN) are enhanced by alloying with scandium (Sc), thus offering superior properties for applications in micro electro-mechanical systems devices. ScxAl1 xN thin films have been prepared by DC reactive magnetron sputtering on Si (100) substrates from a single target. When targeting a concentration range from x¼0 up to x¼0.15, the preparation conditions have been optimized by varying the Ar/N2 ratio in the sputtering gas. To incorporate an increasing Sc concentration, a higher Ar/N2 ratio has to be applied during the deposition process. Hence, the argon concentration in the sputtering gas becomes a crucial parameter for microstructure-related parameters. To determine phase purity, degree of c-axis orientation, lattice parameter, and grain size, the ScxAl1 xN thin films were investigated by techniques, such as scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction.
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