Special Issue "Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering"

A special issue of Coatings (ISSN 2079-6412).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Chuen-Lin Tien
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Electrical Engineering, Feng Chia University, Taichung 40724, Taiwan
Tel. +886-4-24517250 ext. 3809
Interests: optical coatings; thin film residual stress; optical interferometry; fiber-optic sensors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We invite researchers to submit original innovative research works to this Special Issue on "Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering". Magnetron sputtering is an effective physical vapor deposition (PVD) method which allows the deposition of many types of materials, including metals, ceramics, alloys and compounds. Magnetron sputter deposition does not require melting and evaporation of the source material, leading to many advantages over other PVD technologies. With the development of magnetron sputtering technique, the precise control of surface physical properties is becoming increasingly critical in both fundamental scientific researches and industrial applications. The aim of this Special Issue is to highlight some of the most recent and most significant contributions to the thin-film coatings field, through a combination of original research papers and review articles from leading groups around the world.

In particular, the topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Key Technologies for Magnetron Sputtering
  • High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS)
  • Modulated Pulse Power Magnetron Sputtering
  • Multilayer Coatings and Nano-Coating Applications
  • Novel Transparent Oxide Films Grown by Magnetron Sputtering Techniques
  • Optical and Mechanical Properties of Magnetron Sputtering Films
  • Nanostructured Features of Advanced Thin Film Materials

Prof. Dr. Chuen-Lin Tien
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Coatings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Effect of Substrate Temperature on the Optical and Electrical Properties of Nitrogen-Doped NiO Thin Films
Coatings 2019, 9(10), 634; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9100634 - 02 Oct 2019
Abstract
NiO is a widely used p-type semiconductor. The desired optical and electrical properties of NiO vary in different application fields. To modulate the properties of NiO, nitrogen (N)-doped NiO thin films were synthesized by reactive radio-frequency magnetron sputtering on ITO-coated glass substrates. The [...] Read more.
NiO is a widely used p-type semiconductor. The desired optical and electrical properties of NiO vary in different application fields. To modulate the properties of NiO, nitrogen (N)-doped NiO thin films were synthesized by reactive radio-frequency magnetron sputtering on ITO-coated glass substrates. The influence of substrate temperature on the properties of NiO was investigated. XRD studies indicated a cubic structure. With the increase of the substrate temperature, the average transmittance in the visible region gradually reduced from 90% to 50%. The bandgap energy narrowed from 3.5 to 3.08 eV. The intensity of the PL spectra weakened, and the electrical conductivity rose. Overall, changing the substrate temperature is an effective method to modulate the optical and electrical properties of N-doped NiO thin films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Epitaxial Versus Polycrystalline Shape Memory Cu-Al-Ni Thin Films
Coatings 2019, 9(5), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9050308 - 08 May 2019
Abstract
In this work, two different approaches were followed to obtain Cu-Al-Ni thin films with shape memory potential. On the one hand, Cu-Ni/Al multilayers were grown by magnetron sputtering at room temperature. To promote diffusion and martensitic/austenitic phase transformation, the multilayers were subjected to [...] Read more.
In this work, two different approaches were followed to obtain Cu-Al-Ni thin films with shape memory potential. On the one hand, Cu-Ni/Al multilayers were grown by magnetron sputtering at room temperature. To promote diffusion and martensitic/austenitic phase transformation, the multilayers were subjected to subsequent heat treatment at 800 °C and quenched in iced water. On the other hand, Cu, Al, and Ni were co-sputtered onto heated MgO (001) substrates held at 700 °C. Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and transmission electron microscopy analyses were carried out to study the resulting microstructures. In the former method, with the aim of tuning the thin film’s composition, and, consequently, the martensitic transformation temperature, the sputtering time and applied power were adjusted. Accordingly, martensitic Cu-14Al-4Ni (wt.%) and Cu-13Al-5Ni (wt.%) thin films and austenitic Cu-12Al-7Ni (wt.%) thin films were obtained. In the latter, in situ heating during film growth led to austenitic Cu-12Al-7Ni (wt.%) thin films with a (200) textured growth as a result of the epitaxial relationship MgO(001)[100]/Cu-Al-Ni(001)[110]. Resistance versus temperature measurements were carried out to investigate the shape memory behavior of the austenitic Cu-12Al-7Ni (wt.%) thin films produced from the two approaches. While no signs of martensitic transformation were detected in the quenched multilayered thin films, a trend that might be indicative of thermal hysteresis was encountered for the epitaxially grown thin films. In the present work, the differences in the crystallographic structure and the shape memory behavior of the Cu-Al-Ni thin films obtained by the two different preparation approaches are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Thermal, Optical, and Microstructural Properties of Magnetron Sputter-Deposited CuSi Films for Application in Write-Once Blu-Ray Discs
Coatings 2019, 9(4), 260; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9040260 - 18 Apr 2019
Abstract
In this study, 16-nm-thick CuSi films were deposited at room temperature by DC magnetron sputtering. The thermal, optical, and microstructural properties of CuSi films were investigated in detail. Moreover, the CuSi film was further used as a recording layer for write-once blu-ray disc [...] Read more.
In this study, 16-nm-thick CuSi films were deposited at room temperature by DC magnetron sputtering. The thermal, optical, and microstructural properties of CuSi films were investigated in detail. Moreover, the CuSi film was further used as a recording layer for write-once blu-ray disc (BD-R) applications. Based on the result of the reflectivity–temperature measurement, the CuSi layer had a decrease in the reflectivity between 180 and 290 °C. The as-deposited CuSi film possessed the Cu3Si phase. After annealing at 300 °C, the Si atoms existed in the CuSi film segregated and crystallized to the cubic Si phase. The activation energy of Si crystallization in the CuSi film was determined to be 1.2 eV. The dynamic tests presented that the BD-R containing the CuSi recording layer had minimum jitter values of 7.0% at 6 mW and 7.2% at 9 mW, respectively, for 1× and 4× recording speeds. This reveals that the CuSi film has great potential in BD-R applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Improved Adhesion of TiAlSiN Nanocomposite Coatings on Cemented Carbide Substrate by Pre-Implantation
Coatings 2019, 9(3), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9030209 - 25 Mar 2019
Abstract
TiAlSiN coatings were deposited on YT 15 cemented carbide substrate by reactive direct current magnetron sputtering (DCMS) in a Plasma Immersion Ion Implantation and Deposition (PIII&D) system. The pre-implantation step and the coating deposition were carried out in the same experimental facility. In [...] Read more.
TiAlSiN coatings were deposited on YT 15 cemented carbide substrate by reactive direct current magnetron sputtering (DCMS) in a Plasma Immersion Ion Implantation and Deposition (PIII&D) system. The pre-implantation step and the coating deposition were carried out in the same experimental facility. In this article the effects of pre-implantation of several different elements (N, C, and O) were investigated. The adhesion strength, hardness, micro-structure, element concentration, depth profile, and the formation of coatings after the PIII experiments were characterized by a wide variety of techniques such as Rockwell indentation, scratch test, nano-indentation measurement, X-ray diffraction, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and Auger electron spectroscopy. The results showed that the adhesive strength of TiAlSiN coatings was significantly improved on samples pre-implanted with N and O whereas only slightly improved with pre-implantation of C. Additionally, the microstructure and mechanical properties of the TiAlSiN coatings were also altered through pre-implantation. The improved adhesion could be explained by the grain refinement and surface energy enhancement of the substrate by pre-implantation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Self-Ordered Orientation of Crystalline Hexagonal Boron Nitride Nanodomains Embedded in Boron Carbonitride Films for Band Gap Engineering
Coatings 2019, 9(3), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9030185 - 12 Mar 2019
Abstract
Boron carbonitride (BCN) films containing hybridized bonds involving elements B, C, and N over wide compositional ranges enable an abundant variety of new materials, electronic structures, properties, and applications, owing to their semiconducting properties with variable band gaps. However, it still remains challenging [...] Read more.
Boron carbonitride (BCN) films containing hybridized bonds involving elements B, C, and N over wide compositional ranges enable an abundant variety of new materials, electronic structures, properties, and applications, owing to their semiconducting properties with variable band gaps. However, it still remains challenging to achieve band gap-engineered BCN ternary with a controllable composition and well-established ordered structure. Herein, we report on the synthesis and characterization of hybridized BCN materials, consisting of self-ordered hexagonal BN (h-BN) crystalline nanodomains, with its aligned basal planes preferentially perpendicular to the substrate, depending on the growth conditions. The observation of the two sets of different band absorptions suggests that the h-BN nanodomains are distinguished enough to resume their individual band gap identity from the BCN films, which decreases as the carbon content increases in the BCN matrix, due to the doping and/or boundary effect. Our results reveal that the structural features and band gap of this form of hybrid BCN films are strongly correlated with the kinetic growth factors, making it a great system for further fundamental physical research and for potential in the development of band gap-engineered applications in optoelectronics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Annealing-Driven Microstructural Evolution and Its Effects on the Surface and Nanomechanical Properties of Cu-Doped NiO Thin Films
Coatings 2019, 9(2), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9020107 - 09 Feb 2019
Abstract
The effects of annealing temperature on the structural, surface morphological and nanomechanical properties of Cu-doped (Cu-10 at %) NiO thin films grown on glass substrates by radio-frequency magnetron sputtering are investigated in this study. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) results indicated that the as-deposited [...] Read more.
The effects of annealing temperature on the structural, surface morphological and nanomechanical properties of Cu-doped (Cu-10 at %) NiO thin films grown on glass substrates by radio-frequency magnetron sputtering are investigated in this study. The X-ray diffraction (XRD) results indicated that the as-deposited Cu-doped NiO (CNO) thin films predominantly consisted of highly defective (200)-oriented grains, as revealed by the broadened diffraction peaks. Progressively increasing the annealing temperature from 300 to 500 °C appeared to drive the films into a more equiaxed polycrystalline structure with enhanced film crystallinity, as manifested by the increased intensities and narrower peak widths of (111), (200) and even (220) diffraction peaks. The changes in the film microstructure appeared to result in significant effects on the surface energy, in particular the wettability of the films as revealed by the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and the contact angle of the water droplets on the film surface. The nanoindentation tests further revealed that both the hardness and Young’s modulus of the CNO thin films increased with the annealing temperature, suggesting that the strain state and/or grain boundaries may have played a prominent role in determining the film’s nanomechanical characterizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Orthorhombic WO3 Thin Films and Their Crystal Quality-Dependent Dye Photodegradation Ability
Coatings 2019, 9(2), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9020090 - 02 Feb 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering deposited WO3 films with different crystalline qualities were synthesized by postannealing at various temperatures. The in-situ DC sputtering deposited WO3 thin film at 375 °C exhibited an amorphous structure. The as-grown WO3 films were crystallized [...] Read more.
Direct current (DC) magnetron sputtering deposited WO3 films with different crystalline qualities were synthesized by postannealing at various temperatures. The in-situ DC sputtering deposited WO3 thin film at 375 °C exhibited an amorphous structure. The as-grown WO3 films were crystallized after annealing at temperatures of 400–600 °C in ambient air. Structural analyses revealed that the crystalline WO3 films have an orthorhombic structure. Moreover, the crystallite size of the WO3 film exhibited an explosive coarsening behavior at an annealing temperature above 600 °C. The density of oxygen vacancy of the WO3 films was substantially lowered through a high temperature annealing procedure. The optical bandgap values of the WO3 films are highly associated with the degree of crystalline quality. The annealing-induced variation of microstructures, crystallinity, and bandgap of the amorphous WO3 thin films explained the various photoactivated properties of the films in this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Optical Properties and Microstructure of TiNxOy and TiN Thin Films before and after Annealing at Different Conditions
Coatings 2019, 9(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9010022 - 01 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
TiN and TiNxOy thin films share many properties such as electrical and optical properties. In this work, a comparison is conducted between TiN (with and without annealing at 400 °C in air and vacuum) and TiNxOy thin [...] Read more.
TiN and TiNxOy thin films share many properties such as electrical and optical properties. In this work, a comparison is conducted between TiN (with and without annealing at 400 °C in air and vacuum) and TiNxOy thin films deposited by using RF magnetron sputtering with the same pure titanium target, Argon (Ar) flow rate, nitrogen flow rates, and deposition time on stainless steel substrates. In the case of TiNxOy thin film, oxygen was pumped in addition. The optical properties of the thin films were characterized by spectrophotometer, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The morphology, topography, and structure were studied by scanning electron microscope (SEM), atomic force microscope (AFM), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results show that both thin films have metal-like behavior with some similarities in phases, structure, and microstructure and differences in optical absorbance. It is shown that the absorbance of TiN (after vacuum-annealing) and TiNxOy have close absorbance percentages at the visible range of light with an unstable profile, while after air-annealing the optical absorbance of TiN exceeds that of TiNxOy. This work introduces annealed TiN thin films as a candidate solar selective absorber at high-temperature applications alternatively to TiNxOy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
An All-Solid-State Electrochromic Device Based on WO3–Nb2O5 Composite Films Prepared by Fast-Alternating Bipolar-Pulsed Reactive Magnetron Sputtering
Coatings 2019, 9(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings9010009 - 25 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this study, WO3–Nb2O5 electrochromic films and an ITO/WO3–Nb2O5/Nb2O5/NiVOx/ITO all-solid-state electrochromic device were deposited using fast-alternating bipolar-pulsed magnetron sputtering using tungsten and niobium targets. The influence [...] Read more.
In this study, WO3–Nb2O5 electrochromic films and an ITO/WO3–Nb2O5/Nb2O5/NiVOx/ITO all-solid-state electrochromic device were deposited using fast-alternating bipolar-pulsed magnetron sputtering using tungsten and niobium targets. The influence of different sputtering powers from the niobium target on the refractive index, extinction coefficient, optical modulation, coloration efficiency, reversibility, and durability of the WO3–Nb2O5 films is discussed. The aim of this work is to find the suitable Nb proportion to increase durability and less negative effect in the electrochromic performance of Nb2O5-doped WO3 films. The lifetime of the WO3–Nb2O5 films is 4 times longer than pure WO3 films when the sputtering power of the Nb target is higher than 250 W. The results show that WO3–Nb2O5 composite films used for an all-solid-state electrochromic device can sustain over 3 × 104 repeated coloring and bleaching cycles while the transmission modulations can be kept above 20%. The coloring and bleaching response times are 7.0 and 0.7 s, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Magnetic Properties and Microstructure of FePt(BN, Ag, C) Films
Coatings 2018, 8(10), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8100358 - 09 Oct 2018
Abstract
The microstructure and magnetic properties of FePt(BN, Ag, C) granular films grown on the MgTiON intermediate layer with and without the MoC inserting layer were studied. Without the MoC inserting layer, the 6 nm thick FePt film is continuous, which favors the domain [...] Read more.
The microstructure and magnetic properties of FePt(BN, Ag, C) granular films grown on the MgTiON intermediate layer with and without the MoC inserting layer were studied. Without the MoC inserting layer, the 6 nm thick FePt film is continuous, which favors the domain wall motion magnetization reversal process and shows a lower out-of-plane coercivity (Hc) value of 6.7 kOe. The FePt(BN, Ag, C) granular film was grown in ball- and square-like grains with an almost vertical contact angle, and the out-of-plane coercivity (Hc) was increased to 15.5 kOe. When the MoC with a thickness of 3 nm was capped on the MgTiON intermediate layer, the FePt grains with and without (BN, Ag, C) segregants were both formed in large trapezoidal islands with a low contact angle morphology. The out-of-plane Hc value changed from 14.9 to 13.2 kOe and the reduced coercivity was due to larger grain sizes and a lower ordering degree of the FePt(BN, Ag, C) film. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanical Properties and Oxidation Behavior of Multilayered Hf–Si–N Coatings
Coatings 2018, 8(10), 354; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8100354 - 03 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Monolithic Hf–Si–N coatings and multilayered Hf–Si–N coatings with cyclical gradient concentration were fabricated using reactive direct current magnetron cosputtering. The structure of the Hf–Si–N coatings varied from a crystalline HfN phase, to a mixture of HfN and amorphous phases and to an amorphous [...] Read more.
Monolithic Hf–Si–N coatings and multilayered Hf–Si–N coatings with cyclical gradient concentration were fabricated using reactive direct current magnetron cosputtering. The structure of the Hf–Si–N coatings varied from a crystalline HfN phase, to a mixture of HfN and amorphous phases and to an amorphous phase with continuously increasing the Si content. The multilayered Hf48Si3N49 coatings exhibited a mixture of face-centered cubic and near-amorphous phases with a maximal hardness of 22.5 GPa, a Young’s modulus of 244 GPa and a residual stress of −1.5 GPa. The crystalline phase-dominant coatings exhibited a linear relationship between the hardness and compressive residual stress, whereas the amorphous phase-dominant coatings exhibited a low hardness level of 15–16 GPa; this hardness is close to that of Si3N4. Various oxides were formed after annealing of the Hf–Si–N coatings at 600 °C in a 1% O2–99% Ar atmosphere. Monoclinic HfO2 formed after Hf54N46 annealing and amorphous oxide formed for the oxidation-resistant Hf32Si19N49 coatings. The oxidation behavior with respect to the Si content was investigated by using transmission electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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Open AccessArticle
Surface Analysis and Optical Properties of Cu-Doped ZnO Thin Films Deposited by Radio Frequency Magnetron Sputtering
Coatings 2018, 8(8), 266; https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings8080266 - 31 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
In this study, Cu-doped ZnO (CZO) thin films were grown on glass substrates by using the radio frequency magnetron sputtering technique. The effects of Cu doping on the structural, surface morphological, optical properties, and wettability behaviors of CZO thin films were investigated by [...] Read more.
In this study, Cu-doped ZnO (CZO) thin films were grown on glass substrates by using the radio frequency magnetron sputtering technique. The effects of Cu doping on the structural, surface morphological, optical properties, and wettability behaviors of CZO thin films were investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), UV-Visible spectroscopy, and contact angle measurement, respectively. The XRD results indicated that all CZO thin films were textured, having a preferential crystallographic orientation along the hexagonal wurtzite (002) axis. The average transmittance in the visible wavelength region was above 80% for all CZO thin films. The optical band gap of the CZO films decreased from 3.18 to 2.85 eV when the Cu-doping was increased from 2% to 10%. In addition, the water contact angle measurements were carried out to delineate the Cu-doping effects on the changes in the surface energy and wettability of the films. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Thin Films Deposited by Magnetron Sputtering)
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