Characterization of misfit dislocations in epitaxial (001)-oriented TiN, NbN, VN, and (Ti,Nb) N film heterostructures by transmission electron microscopy

L. Hultman*, M. Shinn, P. B. Mirkarimi, S. A. Barnett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was employed to characterize the misfit dislocation systems in epitaxial bilayer films of TiN, NbN, VN, and TiNbN as a function of overlayer film thickness and degree of lattice mismatch. Thin epitaxial nitride overlayers on 100 nm thick nitride buffer layers were deposited by dual-cathode ultra-high vacuum magnetron sputtering onto MgO(001) substrates. Plan-view weak-beam TEM showed that the primary misfit dislocations were of edge type with line direction [110] and Burgers vectors 1 2[110] within the plane of the interface. The critical thickness for the onset of strain relaxation increased with decreasing mismatch ε from <2 nm for NbN/TiN (ε = 3.6%) to 2-3 nm for (rmVN/TiN) and TiN/Ti0.3Nb0.7N (ε = 2.4%) and to 3-5 nm for NbN/Ti0.3Nb0.7N (ε = 1%). Domain formation was observed in all systems above a critical thickness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-317
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Crystal Growth
Volume135
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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