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Cen Z.H.,Data Storage Institute Singapore | Xu B.X.,Data Storage Institute Singapore | Hu J.F.,Data Storage Institute Singapore | Ji R.,Data Storage Institute Singapore | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics | Year: 2017

Titanium nitride (TiN) is a promising alternative plasmonic material to conventional novel metals. For practical plasmonic applications under the influence of air, the temperature-dependent optical properties of TiN thin films in air and its volume variation are essential. Ellipsometric characterizations on a TiN thin film at different increasing temperatures in ambient air were conducted, and optical constants along with film thickness were retrieved. Below 200 °C, the optical properties varied linearly with temperature, in good agreement with other temperature dependent studies of TiN films in vacuum. The thermal expansion coefficient of the TiN thin film was determined to be 10.27 ×10-6 °C-1. At higher temperatures, the TiN thin film gradually loses its metallic characteristics and has weaker optical absorption, impairing its plasmonic performance. In addition, a sharp increase in film thickness was observed at the same time. Changes in the optical properties and film thickness with temperatures above 200 °C were revealed to result from TiN oxidation in air. For the stability of TiN-based plasmonic devices, operation temperatures of lower than 200 °C, or measures to prevent oxidation, are required. The present study is important to fundamental physics and technological applications of TiN thin films. © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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