Segregation of Cu in Cu (Ti) alloys during nitridation in NH3

Daniel Adams, Terry Alford, N. D. Theodore, S. W. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cu(Ti 27 at.%) alloys on SiO2 were reacted in NH3 for 30 min over the temperature range 400-700 °C. Rutherford backscattering spectrometry in conjunction with high resolution transmission electron microscopy were utilized to investigate reaction products. At 400-450 °C, Ti is observed to segregate to the free surface to react with NH3, forming an Ti oxynitride layer. Above 500 °C, Ti segregates to both the free surface and to the alloy/SiO2 interface, leaving relatively-pure Cu layer. Reaction between Ti and SiO2 results in a TiO Ti5Si3 bilayer structure. By use of high spatial resolution energy dispersive X-ray spcctroscopy, the presence of a Cu-containing layer at the TiO Ti5Si3 interface is observed. This layer may also contain Ti, Si and/or O. We propose a mechanism for Cu segregation to this interface which requires Cu diffusion across TiO and subsequent dissociation of Ti5Si3. Thermodynamic calculations support this mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-350
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1 1995


  • Copper
  • Nitrides
  • Titanium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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