Abstract

Opaque and semitransparent dc magnetron-sputtered ZrN films on glass and silicon have been optically characterized with spectral reflectance measurements and ellipsometry. High rate sputtered ZrN has good optical selectivity, i.e., higher than 90% infrared reflectance and a pronounced reflectance step in the visible to a reflectance minimum of less than 10% at 350 nm. The results are comparable with those obtained for single crystalline samples and those prepared by chemical vapor deposition. The complex optical constant (N = n + ik) for opaque films has been determined in the 0.23–25-μm wavelength range with Kramers–Kronig integration of bulk reflectance combined with oblique incidence reflectance for p-polarized light. A variable angle of incidence spectroscopic ellipsometer has been used for determination of the optical constants in the 0.28–1.0-μm wavelength region. The results of the two methods show excellent agreement. The results indicate that ZrN is free electronlike and the Drude model can be applied. The best opaque films had Drude plasma energies (ħωp) between 6.6 and 7.5 eV and relaxation energies (ħ/τ) between 0.29 and 0.36 eV. Ellipsometer data for the semitransparent films show that the refractive index (n) in the visible increases with decreasing film thickness whereas the extinction coefficient (k) is essentially unchanged. The optical properties are improved by deposition upon a heated substrate.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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