Influence of air exposure on the compositional nature of Zn3N2 thin films

Carlos García Núñez, J.L. Pau, Maria J. Hernández, M. Cervera, Eduardo Ruiz, J. Piqueras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Zinc nitride (Zn3N2) films were prepared by radio-frequency magnetron sputtering from a pure Zn target in a N2 ambient. Films were deposited on glass and Si(100) substrates at 298- and 473-K substrate temperatures (Ts). Ion beam analysis (IBA) techniques, spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) and transmission spectroscopy were used to characterize the samples as a function of Ts and time. IBA studies showed that the Zn and N concentrations matched the stoichiometric values 3:2 of the cubic anti-bixbyte structure and revealed the partial transformation of Zn3N2 into zinc oxide (ZnO) due to the exposure to ambient air. IBA and SE techniques revealed films grown at higher Ts were less affected by the oxidation process. Transmission spectroscopy showed that the band gap energy blue shifted as Ts decreased. It was also found that the oxidation process produced a blue shift of the band gap energy. For the sake of comparison, ZnO/Zn3N2 heterostructures were synthesized using the same system and characterized in parallel to unintentionally oxidized nitride layers. SE studies of the heterostructure showed that the deposition of a ZnO layer helped to prevent nitride oxidation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-211
Number of pages4
JournalThin Solid Films
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • sputtering
  • zinc nitride
  • zinc oxide
  • surface oxidation


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of air exposure on the compositional nature of Zn3N2 thin films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this