Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 10-31-1996

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - (M.S.)


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Kenneth Sohn

Second Advisor

Roy H. Cornely

Third Advisor

Robert Boris Marcus


The influence of different argon pressures on the residual stress, microstructure, and resisitivity of sputtered tantalum silicide thin films has been investigated. TaSi2 films were deposited onto Si wafers by dc magnetron sputtering. The deposition temperature was assumed to be 300°C. The thickness was about 0.5 μm. The residual stresses in the films deposited at different argon pressures were determined by curvature measurement method. The compressive intrinsic stress of 1033.4MPa was measured at PAr = 0.5 mTorr. The intrinsic stress in the films seemed to change from compression to tension as PAr increased above 8mTorr. A maximum tensile intrinsic stress of 221MPa was obtained at 10 mTon and the tensile intrinsic stress decreased at the higher argon pressure. SEM showed an accompanying microstructural change from a dense structure at the low pressures to an open growth structure with some gaps between grains at the highest pressure. The electrical resistivity exhibited a sputtering-pressure dependence and seemed to be closely related to the microstructure of films.



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