Correlation between the composition, structure and properties of dual ion beam deposited SiNxfilms

M. P. Tsang, Chung Wo Ong, C. L. Choy, P. K. Lim, W. W. Hung

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Silicon nitride (SiNx) films were prepared by dual ion beam deposition at room temperature. An assisted N2+ion beam (current Ib=0-45 mA) was directed to bombard the substrate surface to control the N content x, which saturated at x≈1.36 when Ib≥25 mA. The presence of Si-N bonds was indicated by the appearance of a Si 2p photoelectron peak at 101.9 eV and an infrared absorption peak at 850 cm-1. As x increases from 0 to 1.36, the hardness, elastic modulus and compressive stress increase from 12.2 to 21.5 GPa, 191 to 256 GPa and 0.52 to 1.4 GPa and the friction coefficient against stainless steel ball decreases from 0.65 to 0.37. The optical band gap increases remarkably with a concomitant drop in electrical conductivity (σRT) by more than 107times. Ion bombardment induces defects and trap states in the mid-gap, such that the transport mechanism is dominated by hopping of charge carriers through the trap states. Consequently, the activation energy of electrical conductivity is much lower than the optical band gap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-147
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2003
Eventproceedings of the 1st Ineternational Conference on Materials - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 1 Jul 20016 Jul 2001


  • Hardness
  • Optical band gap
  • Silicon nitride

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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