Grain boundary scattering for temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) behaviour of Ta-Si-N thin films

Chen-Kuei Chung, A. Nautiyal, T. S. Chen, Y. L. Chang

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19 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we have investigated the electrical properties of Ta xSiyNz thin films deposited by reactive co-sputtering at different nitrogen flow ratios. The electrical resistivity and temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) were measured by an I-V measurement system including the four-point probe from 30 to 100 °C. The results indicated that the electrical resistivity decreased with increasing temperature, i.e. negative TCR, in each film prepared at different N2 flow ratios. The phase formation of a Ta-Si-N film at different N2 flow ratios (5-30%), as well as the change in microstructure from a symmetric broad peak to an asymmetric peak, was studied by a grazing incident x-ray diffractometer. In view of the fact that the grain size increases with increasing N2 flow ratio, it would be expected that increasing resistivity and magnitude of negative TCR with increasing grain size nature may be due to scattering of electrons by the grain boundaries. It is probable that coarse grained material of Ta-Si-N with amorphous-like microstructure has a higher electrical resistivity due to the high ratio of the grain boundary area and increase in non-metallic amorphous SiNx. The electrical properties of these films are also discussed by the grain boundary scattering model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number185404
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sep 21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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