Applied Surface Science, Vol.252, No.23, 8319-8325, 2006
Difference in high-temperature oxidation resistance of amorphous Zr-Si-N and W-Si-N films with a high Si content
The high-temperature oxidation resistance of amorphous Zr-Si-N and W-Si-N films with a high Si content (>= 20 at.%) deposited by reactive do magnetron sputtering at different partial pressures of nitrogen was systematically investigated by means of a symmetrical high-resolution thermogravimetry in a flowing air up to an annealing temperature of 1300 degrees C (a temperature limit for Si(1 0 0) substrate). Additional analyses including X-ray diffraction (XRD), light optical microscopy (LOM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and microhardness measurement were carried out as well. The obtained results showed (i) an excellent high-temperature oxidation resistance of the Zr-Si-N films up to 1300 degrees C, (ii) a considerably lower oxidation resistance of the W-Si-N films. The W-Si-N films are completely oxidized at 800 degrees C with a subsequent volatilization of unstable WOx oxides. On the other hand, the Zr-Si-N films are oxidized only very slightly on the surface, where a stable oxide barrier layer preventing further inward oxygen diffusion is formed. The thickness of the oxide layer is only about of 3% of the total film thickness. The phase composition, thermal stability of individual phases and amorphous structure were found to be key factors to achieve a high oxidation resistance. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.