Nanocrystalline TiN thin films were deposited on glass substrate by d.c. magnetron sputtering. The microstructural characteristics of the thin films were characterized by XRD, FE-SEM and AFM. XRD analysis of the thin films, with increasing thickness, showed the (200) preferred orientation up to 1.26 𝜇m thickness and then it transformed into (220) and (200) peaks with further increase in thickness up to 2.83 𝜇m. The variation in preferred orientation was due to the competition between surface energy and strain energy during film growth. The deposited films were found to be very dense nanocrystalline film with less porosity as evident from their FE-SEM and AFM images. The surface roughness of the TiN films has increased slightly with the film thickness as observed from its AFM images. The mechanical properties of TiN films such as hardness and modulus of elasticity (𝐸) were investigated by nanoindentation technique. The hardness of TiN thin film was found to be thickness dependent. The highest hardness value (24 GPa) was observed for the TiN thin films with less positive micro strain.
Volume 43, 2020
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