Keywords

SiCN, Reactive Sputtering, XPS, Oxygen annealing

Abstract

With the rapid increase in miniaturization of mechanical components, the need for a hard, protective coatings is of great importance. In this study we investigate some of the mechanical, chemical and physical properties of the SiCN thin films. Thin films of amorphous silicon carbide nitride (a-SiCxNy) were deposited in a RF magnetron sputtering system using a powder pressed SiC target. Films with various compositions were deposited on to silicon substrate by changing the N2/Ar gas ratios during sputtering. Nano-indentation studies were performed to investigate the mechanical properties such as hardness and reduced modulus of the SiCN films. Surface morphology of the films was characterized by using atomic force microscopy (AFM). X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) data indicated that the chemical status is highly sensitive to the nitrogen ratios during sputtering. Further, the films were annealed in dry oxygen ambient in the temperature range of 400 – 900°C and characterized using XPS to investigate the chemical composition and oxidation kinetics at each annealing temperature. The surface roughness of these films was studied as a function of annealing temperature and film composition with the help of a "Veeco" optical profilometer. Nano-indentation studies indicated that the hardness and the reduced modulus of the film are sensitive to the N2/Ar ratio of gas flow during sputtering. AFM studies revealed that the films become smoother as the N2/Ar ratio is increased. XPS data indicated the existence of C-N phases in the as-deposited films. The study of oxidation kinetics of RF sputter deposited SiCN thin films, using XPS, suggest that N2 co-sputtering helps to suppress the formation of a surface oxide, by allowing un-bonded Si to bond with N and C inside the vacuum chamber as opposed to bonding with O in atmosphere.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2005

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Coffey, Kevin

Degree

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

College

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Department

Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0000839

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0000839

Language

English

Release Date

January 2006

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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