Secondary ion mass spectrometry study of the formation of a nanometer oxide film on a titanium nitride surface
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Using secondary ion mass spectrometry, we investigate the oxidation of titanium nitride films fabricated by reactive magnetron sputtering under specific conditions of burning plasma in the argon and oxygen mixture in a vacuum chamber of a magnetron sputtering facility at annealing temperatures ranging from 350 to 440°С and times ranging from 2 to 11 min. It is shown that the oxidation is activated by the plasma, while thermal activation plays a secondary role. The oxide layer consists of the TiO2 layer and (3–5)-nm-thick intermediate layer between it and the bulk of titanium nitride, which is homogeneous over the sample surface and enriched with oxygen-containing complexes. The titanium dioxide layer thickness lies within 2–3.5 nm and depends on the annealing conditions. The effect of different factors on the layer thicknesses is investigated. The expression is obtained that satisfactorily describes the dependence of the TiO2 layer thickness on annealing temperature and time.
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