WN films were deposited on clean Si substrates by Reactive Ion Beam Sputtering in a UHV system. The growth mode of the films as a function of the nitrogen ion energy was investigated by in situ Auger Electron Spectrometry. The energy of the incident ions was varied from 250 eV to 3 keV. We observed a significant nitridation of the silicon at the very beginning of the deposition. This nitridation is more pronounced for the lower energy and is more reduced for 2 keV-ions. It seems to follow the trend of the film composition: 250 eV-ions and 2 keV-ions result in N-rich films (N/W≈1) and W-rich films (N/W≈0.5), respectively. All these results are discussed in terms of sputtering yield, backscattering and sticking coefficient and are explained by taking into account: first, the interaction between the incident ions and the target, and second, the interaction between the species emitted by the target and the growing film.
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