Aluminum oxynitride films, 1 μm thick, are deposited onto glass substrates by planar magnetron sputtering from an alumina target in a mixture of nitrogen and argon. one set of films is deposited onto glass substrates that are heat sunk to a holder, whose temperature is held below 100°C. a second set of films is deposited onto glass substrates that are mechanically clamped to a holder, whose temperature is allowed to rise up to 250°C. Characterization by continuous indentation testing, secondary electron microscopy, and x-ray diffraction reveals significant differences in mechanical properties and surface structure between the two sets of films. Films deposited with holder cooling have a smooth surface and no evidence of crystallinity; films deposited without holder cooling have etch pits on their surface that vary with position across the substrate. the later films show crystallinity and have twice the hardness and a 60% greater elastic modulus.