Journal of Metals, Materials and Minerals

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Vanadium nitride (VN) thin films were deposited on Si substrates by reactive DC unbalanced magnetron sputtering. Effect of sputtering power on the structure of the as-deposited films was investigated. The crystal structure, thickness, roughness, surface morphology and chemical composition of the films were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), respectively. The results showed that the as-deposited VN thin films had fcc structure with (111), (200) and (220) planes, varying with the sputtering power. The crystallite size and lattice constant of films were in the range of 16 - 49 nm and 4.119 - 4.147 Å, respectively. The film thickness and roughness increased with increasing of the sputtering power, from 275 nm to 830 nm and 3 nm to 12 nm, respectively. The as-deposited films compose of vanadium and nitrogen in different ratios, depending on the sputtering power. Cross section analysis by FE-SEM showed a compact columnar structure.

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