Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films

Reactive magnetron sputtered zirconium oxide and zirconium silicon oxide thin films

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Thin films of ZrO2and ZrO2SiO2were deposited by reactive dc magnetron sputtering. The optical properties, density, microstructure, and crystalline phase of pure ZrO2films were found to be a function of deposition rate. In particular, the index of refraction could be varied from 1.77 to 2.13 by increasing the deposition rate from 11 to 720 A/min. The density of the films increased from 3.9 to 5.8 g/cm3 over the same deposition rate range. Small amounts of SiO2(10 at. %) stabilized the mixed films in an amorphous phase. A linear relationship between index of refraction and SiO2content was observed and, as in the case of pure ZrO2, increasing deposition rate resulted in mixed films with higher densities and indices for a fixed SiO2content. The structure and optical properties of the mixed films remained unchanged with thermal cycling up to 500 °C. © 1989, American Vacuum Society. All rights reserved.