Hydrogen effects on the fracture of thin tantalum nitride films

N. R. Moody, S. K. Venkataraman, B. Bastasz, J. E. Angelo, W. W. Gerberich

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In this study we used nanoindentation and continuous microscratch testing to determine the effect of hydrogen on the work of adhesion and fracture toughness of thin tantalum nitride films. These films were sputter-deposited on sapphire substrates to a thickness of 600 nm followed by the heating of some films in deuterium and some in vacuum at 300°C. Deuterium was used in this study because it is much easier to detect and measure than hydrogen. Ion beam spectroscopy showed that exposure to deuterium produced a uniform internal deuterium concentration of 2000 appm. Nanoindentation showed that exposure to deuterium at 300°C and vacuum annealing at 300°C had little effect on elastic modulus and hardness values of these films at room temperature. In contrast, the microscratch tests at room temperature revealed that the work of adhesion decreased from 24.5 J/m2 after vacuum annealing to 9.1 J/m2 after deuterium charging and demonstrated that tantalum nitride films have a strong susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-832
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
EventProceedings of the 1994 MRS Fall Meeting - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Nov 28 1994Nov 30 1994


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydrogen effects on the fracture of thin tantalum nitride films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this