The innovation engine for new materials

James Kally

James Kally


University of California Santa Barbara



Site Abroad: 

CRANN and School of Physics, Trinity College, Dublin, IRELAND


Ciarán Fowley
Karsten Rode
Huseyin Kurt

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

J.M.D. Coey

Project Title: 

Physical Vapour Deposition of Nitrides

Project Description: 

Reactive pulsed DC sputtering has become a choice method for depositing thick, smooth nitride films. This summer we optimized two processes, copper nitride (CuN) and aluminium nitride (AlN), on the Shamrock sputter machine. Smooth, conducting CuN is needed to form smooth Ti/CuN layers to replace expensive Ru in Magnet Tunnel Junctions (MTJs). For certain devices high temperatures depositions, such as PECVD of SiN, can ruin the device structures. That is why room temperature AlN films by sputtering are ideal for passivation layers for biosensors (Figure 1) and metallic devices—MTJs. Copper nitride and aluminium nitride films have been optimized for reactive pulsed DC sputtering and are both very smooth films. Copper nitride is ready to by integrated into MTJs devices as a bottom contact in a Ta/CuN multilayers to lower resistance. Aluminium nitride can be grown in thick, insulating layers that are perfect as a protection layer for biosensors.