Characterization of TiBN films grown by ion beam assisted deposition

S. M. Aouadi, F. Namavar, T. Z. Gorishnyy, S. L. Rohde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This paper presents one of the first attempts to measure and model the ellipsometric data for ternary nitride coatings in general and TiBN coatings in particular. TiBN coatings with a functionally graded underlayer of Ti/TiN have been deposited at low temperatures ( <200 °C) on a silicon substrate using ion beam assisted deposition (IBAD). The coating selected for detailed analysis had a total thickness of 1.5±0.2 μm. The deposited structure was characterized post-deposition using X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Rutherford backscattering (RBS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), infrared spectroscopic ellipsometry (IR-SE), and visible-light spectroscopic ellipsometry (VIS-SE). The primary phases (TiB2, TiN, and BN) in the film were identified using XRD. The surface morphology and nanocrystalline nature of the coating (grain size of 5-7 nm) were deduced using AFM. The chemical composition and phase composition of the sample was determined from RBS and XPS measurements and was subsequently deduced from the analysis of the VIS-SE data. The refractive indices for the constituent phases were deduced from the investigation of TiB2. TiN and BN single layers with SE. Good correlation was observed between RBS, XPS and VIS-SE for the data on the TiBN sample. XPS and IR-SE suggested that BN formed in the amorphous form. The chemical composition study using these various techniques shows that in-situ SE is a potential technique to control the growth of ternary nitride coatings. Finally, the mechanical properties of the coating were evaluated using a nanoindenter. The hardness and elastic modulus were measured to be 42 GPa and 325 GPa, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-151
Number of pages7
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Oct 22 2002


  • Ellipsometry
  • Ion beam assisted deposition
  • Nanocrystal
  • Nitride
  • Rutherford backscattering
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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