Composition, Structure, and Semiconducting Properties of MgxZr2-xN2 Thin Films

Sage Bauers, Andriy Zakutayev, Danielle Hamann, Kevin Talley, Ashlea Patterson, John Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus Citations


Synthesis and characterization of Mg x Zr2-xN2 (0.5 ≤ x ≤ 1.8) thin films deposited by reactive magnetron co-sputtering in nitrogen plasma is reported. Composition measurements show that nitrides with low oxygen content (less than 1%) can be formed up to x = 1.0, at which point an increase in oxygen content is observed. Up to composition of x = 1.6 the Mg x Zr2-xN2 thin films form in a rocksalt-derived crystal structure, as revealed by X-ray diffraction measurements. At x > 1.6 the films rapidly oxidize. The lattice constant of the stoichiometric MgZrN2 composition is a = 4.537 Å, and only small changes in lattice parameter are observed with changing composition. Electrical conductivity decreases by several orders of magnitude with increasing Mg-content. The conductivity of Mg-rich (x ≥ 1) films increases with increasing measurement temperature, indicating semiconducting character of Mg-rich Mg x Zr2-xN2. Optical absorption measurements of these Mg-rich samples show a clear absorption onset at 1.8 eV, also indicative of semiconducting behavior.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberSC1015
Number of pages7
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics, Part 2: Letters
Issue numberSC
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Japan Society of Applied Physics.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-73502


  • electronic materials
  • nitride semiconductors
  • thin films


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