Microwave plasma-assisted reactive HiPIMS of InN films: Plasma environment and material characterisation

Peter Schweizer, Patrick Sturm, Aurelio Brozi, Jonathan Thomet, Johann Micher, Aicha Hessler-Wyser, Thomas Nelis, Caroline Hain
This work focuses on the low temperature fabrication process of InN thin films via microwave plasma-assisted reactive high power impulse magnetron sputtering (MAR-HiPIMS). The influence of microwave plasma on the HiPIMS discharge process at various nitrogen flows and microwave powers was monitored and characterised through in situ diagnostics, including following HiPIMS I(V,t) curves, optical emission spectroscopy (OES), as well as performing time-resolved Langmuir probe and time-of-flight mass
more » ... spectroscopy (ToF-MS) measurements. This was followed by the deposition of InN films via standard reactive HiPIMS (reference sample) and MAR-HiPIMS and their characterisation via X-ray diffraction (XRD), reflectometry (XRR), as well as scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM). It was found that the microwave plasma facilitates the dissociation/activation of nitrogen species and supplies seed electrons to the magnetron discharge plasma. Furthermore, the energy of the incoming ions was determined via ToF-MS, and it was possible to identify their plasma origin and temporal behaviour. The produced R-HiPIMS sample was highly metallic, with no nitride phase detected. The MAR-HiPMS film, however, was stoichiometric and exhibited (0002) direction texturing, with an optical bandgap of approx. 1.5 eV, electron concentration of 2.72 × 10 20 cm − 3 and electron mobility of 7.16 cm 2 V − 1 s − 1 (in the range for polycrystalline InN).
doi:10.24451/arbor.18571 fatcat:75p2k6rnozebrgo6tav7gf4ofm