TiN-Fe nanocomposite thin films deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering

S. Zerkout, S. Achour, N. Tabet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


TiN-Fe films with various iron concentrations were deposited on Si and NaCl single-crystal substrates by direct current reactive magnetron sputtering. The structure and chemical composition of the films were examined by x-ray diffraction (XRD), high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), energy-dispersive x-ray and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The effects of Fe addition on the structural, mechanical and magnetic properties of TiN films were studied. XRD and HRTEM revealed for TiN-Fe a cubic B-1 structure while no sign of an iron phase was observed. It was found that the lattice parameter and the grain size decreased with an increase in the Fe/Ti atomic ratio. At Fe/Ti = 0.2, the XRD revealed a change in the preferential orientation from (1 1 1) to (2 0 0) with a tendency of line broadening as the iron concentration increased. The Fe 2p core level peak of XPS indicates that the greater part of Fe atoms in TiN-Fe films exists as free pure metallic iron while the lesser part was in the form of iron oxide. Film annealing at 500 and 600 °C led to iron precipitation of the α-Fe phase indicating that below 500 °C Fe-TiN, films can be considered as nanocomposites materials, as confirmed by nanoindentation measurements and HRTEM observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7508-7514
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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