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Effect of Microstructure on Microhardness of AlN Thin Films

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2011

Shuichi Miyabe
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Defense Academy, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-8686, Japan
Masami Aono
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Defense Academy, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-8686, Japan
Nobuaki Kitazawa
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Defense Academy, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-8686, Japan
Yoshihisa Watanabe
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Defense Academy, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 239-8686, Japan
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Abstract

Aluminum nitride (AlN) thin films with columnar and granular structures were prepared by ion-beam assisted deposition method by changing nitrogen ion beam energy, and the effects of the film microstructure and film thickness on their microhardness were studied by using a nano-indentation system with the maximum force of 3 mN. For the columnar structure film of 600 nm in thickness, the microhardness is found to be approximately 24 GPa when the normalized penetration depth to the film thickness is about 0.1. For the granular structure film of 700 nm in thickness, the microhardness is found to be approximately 14 GPa. These results reveal that the microhardness of the AlN films strongly depends on the film microstructure, which can be controlled by regulating the nitrogen ion beam energy.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2002

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