Aurélie Achille1, Angéline Poulon-Quintin1, Dominique Michau1, Sébastien Fourcade1, Stéphane Jouannigot1, Axel Ballot1, Fabrice Mauvy1, Marjorie Cavarroc2
1) ICMCB-CNRS (France)
2) Safran Tech (France)
Tantalum nitride films were deposited onto steel substrates using Reactive High-Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS). The influence of target power density, N2 partial pressure, total gas pressure and target-to-substrate distance on film crystalline structure is reported.
TaN crystalline phase depends strongly on processing parameters especially pulse parameters. TaN hexagonal single-phase continuous layer is known to be difficult to isolate using conventional reactive magnetron sputtering. Our previous study, based on RF magnetron sputtering, has shown TaN hexagonal structure formation to be enhanced in growth conditions promoting adatoms mobility on the substrate surface. With HiPIMS, TaN hexagonal phase layer is much more difficult to obtain due to the increased number of process parameters, the specific composition and the energy of the plasma created. Comparison of mechanisms involved during the stabilization of each TaN structure depending on the process is presented as well as characterization of microstructure, and properties (mechanical, electrical and optical).