A study was performed to investigate the influence of process parameters on the properties of TiN films deposited by ion beam mixing. Relatively dense and homogeneous structures or dense columnar structures were observed by scanning electron microscopy. From the results of X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, the main constitutent was TiN. When the Ti:N ratio exceeded 1.5 or the temperature was over 400°C, Ti2N and titanium phases were observed. The microhardness of the films, as measured by the penetration depth of the indenter in the surface, varied widely. High hardness was achieved at a Ti:N ratio of 1.0, an ion energy of 20-30 kV, a substrate temperature of about 300°C or an ion bombardment angle of -45°. Better adhesion, as estimated by scratch tests, was achieved at higher ion energies and also at higher temperatures. © 1989.
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