In situ infrared and visible-light ellipsometric investigations of boron nitride thin films at elevated temperatures

E. Franke, M. Schubert, J. D. Hecht, H. Neumann, T. E. Tiwald, D. W. Thompson, H. Yao, J. A. Woollam, J. Hahn

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In situ infrared (IR) spectroscopy and visible-light (VIS) spectroscopic ellipsometry over the spectral range from 700 to 2000 cm-1 and 1.5-3.5 eV, respectively, were used to investigate the optical behavior of boron nitride (BN) thin films at temperatures from room temperature (RT) to 600°C The polycrystalline hexagonal (h) and mixed-phase h- and cubic (c)-BN thin films were deposited by magnetron sputtering on [001] silicon. We observe a reversible moisture incorporation process in as-grown h-BN samples. When stored in normal ambient, the h-BN thin films absorb water into thin-film micropores. When annealed in ultrahigh vacuum or a dry nitrogen atmosphere, the samples expel moisture but retain their microstructure. This is observable by reduction of the thin-film refractive indices in accordance with changes in the IR lattice resonance behavior. The optical properties of high c-BN content thin films remain unchanged during annealing. And both intrinsic h- and c-BN thin-film VIS refractive indices are nearly temperature independent, at least up to 600°C Therefore RT BN optical constants can be used for feedback loop control in in situ thin-film growth at temperatures up to 600°C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-532
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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