Anna Zaman

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Efstathios Meletis


Tantalum Nitride is chemically inert, oxidation resistant and hard. TaN finds its application as a protective coating on steel due to their excellent wear properties. It has become a very promising diffusion barrier material in Cu interconnect technology in microelectronics. TaN has not been analyzed as much as other transition metal nitrides like the TiN system because TaN exhibits various stable and metastable phases. The emergence of these phases and the different physical, chemical and mechanical properties depend on the growth technique and deposition conditions. TaN thin films were deposited using the magnetron PVD system in the SaNEL lab. The aim of this study was to identify the effect of processing parameters like N2/Ar ratio, substrate bias and temperature, on the emergence of the different phases present in TaN thin films and the effect of deposition conditions on the mechanical properties of these films. The phases present in the films, deposited at varying conditions were explored via low angle X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), hardness of the films was measured by Nanoindentation and tribological tests were carried out to measure the frictional and wear behavior. It was observed that at high percentage of Nitrogen (10%-25%) the main phase present was FCC TaN and as the nitrogen content was decreased a mixture of phases was present in these films. The hardness of the films increases as we decrease the Nitrogen content, yielding a film with a hardness of 37.1 GPa at 3% N2 with a substrate bias voltage of -100 V.


Engineering | Materials Science and Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington