Nanostructural characterization of TiN-Cu films using EXAFS spectroscopy

F. Pinakidou, E. C. Paloura, G. M. Matenoglou, P. Patsalas

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We report on the modification of the local coordination of Cu in TiN-Cu films, as a function of the growth conditions. The films were deposited on Si (100) by pulsed laser deposition using either an intermetallic TiCu target or elemental Ti and Cu targets. During growth the partial nitrogen pressure (p(N2)) took values in the range 0-150 {dot operator} 10- 3 mbar. The bonding environment of Cu is identified using Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure Spectroscopy (EXAFS) measurements at the Cu-K-edge. It is disclosed that in the films grown under p(N2) < 150{dot operator}10- 3 mbar, Ti partially substitutes Cu in the fcc Cu phase. However, both the Cu-Ti bondlength and the coordination of Cu in the 1st nearest neighbor shell change as a result of the different growth conditions. More specifically, in the films grown in N2 ambient, the degree of incorporation of Ti in fcc Cu sites decreases as the p(N2) increases. When growth occurs from elemental targets under p(N2) = 150 {dot operator} 10- 3 mbar, only fcc Cu is detected. The changes in the coordination of Cu as a function of the p(N2) are attributed to the formation of crystalline TiN. Finally, the Cu-Cu bondlength is equal to the respective bondlength in the Cu-foil, independent of the growth conditions while, on the contrary, the Cu-Ti bondlength depends on p(N2).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1933-1936
Number of pages4
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Issue number12-13
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2010



  • TiN coatings
  • TiN-Cu nanocomposite films

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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