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Title: C-Axis Textured, 2–3 μm Thick Al0.75Sc0.25N Films Grown on Chemically Formed TiN/Ti Seeding Layers for MEMS Applications
A protocol for successfully depositing [001] textured, 2–3 µm thick films of Al0.75Sc0.25N, is proposed. The procedure relies on the fact that sputtered Ti is [001]-textured α-phase (hcp). Diffusion of nitrogen ions into the α-Ti film during reactive sputtering of Al0.75,Sc0.25N likely forms a [111]-oriented TiN intermediate layer. The lattice mismatch of this very thin film with Al0.75Sc0.25N is ~3.7%, providing excellent conditions for epitaxial growth. In contrast to earlier reports, the Al0.75Sc0.25N films prepared in the current study are Al-terminated. Low growth stress (<100 MPa) allows films up to 3 µm thick to be deposited without loss of orientation or decrease in piezoelectric coefficient. An advantage of the proposed technique is that it is compatible with a variety of substrates commonly used for actuators or MEMS, as demonstrated here for both Si wafers and D263 borosilicate glass. Additionally, thicker films can potentially lead to increased piezoelectric stress/strain by supporting application of higher voltage, but without increase in the magnitude of the electric field.
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